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Man stabs, kills 8 children outside school in China

The suspect, identified as a 41-year-old doctor with personal and professional problems, is in custody in Fujian province.

March 23, 2010|By Barbara Demick

Reporting from Beijing — At least eight children were slain by a man brandishing a knife outside an elementary school in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian, authorities said Tuesday.

The suspect was identified as Zheng Mingsheng, a 41-year-old unemployed doctor who was said to be depressed over personal and professional failings, officials said at a news conference in Nanping, where the attack took place. He was arrested.

The rampage began at 7.20 a.m. as the children were waiting to go to school. According to unconfirmed reports by bloggers, the suspect was stopped by a gym teacher, a jogger and a security guard, one of whom knocked the knife out of his hand with a mop.

The victims were reported to be mostly first-graders. Three children died at the scene and five died later at a hospital, authorities said. At least five other children were injured.

This appeared to be the most serious stabbing rampage at a Chinese school since 2004, when a string of such incidents left at least 10 students dead. China has strict gun-control laws, but attacks involving knives are not uncommon.

barbara.demick

@latimes.com

Tommy Yang of The Times' Beijing Bureau contributed to this report.

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