Three people were killed and six others wounded in a knife attack Wednesday at a kindergarten in southeast China’s Jiangxi province, police said.
A “gangster wearing a cap and mask” stormed the private kindergarten in Anfu county at about 10:00 am local time (0200 GMT), police said in a statement published on China’s Twitter-like Weibo.
The 48-year-old suspect is still at large, they added.
“Public security organs are making every effort to hunt down the suspect,” the police statement said.
In a video of the scene shared by state-run Beijing Daily, a police officer can be seen carrying a tiny child in his arms to an ambulance.
The ages of the victims have not been announced.
Mass violent crime is rare in China, which strictly prohibits citizens from owning firearms, but there has been a spate of mass stabbings in recent years.
And fatal attacks specifically targeting kindergarten and school students have occurred nationwide, carried out by people reportedly wishing to wreak revenge on society or because of grievances with colleagues.
The attacks have forced authorities to step up security and prompted calls for more research into the root causes of such violent acts.
Last April, two children were killed and 16 others wounded when a knife-wielding man entered a kindergarten in southern China.
In 2020, a knife-wielding attacker wounded 37 students and two adults at a primary school in southern China. Local media identified a security guard as the perpetrator.
And later that year a man was sentenced to death for poisoning dozens of children in an act of revenge against a colleague that left one toddler dead.
A court in the central Chinese province of Henan said the accused, Wang Yun, put sodium nitrite into porridge being prepared for her colleague’s students, sickening 25.
In other more recent attacks, four people were wounded in a stabbing at a major Shanghai hospital last month before the knife-wielding assailant was shot and subsequently arrested by the police.
Six people were also killed and 14 wounded after a man stabbed passersby on a pedestrian shopping street in the eastern Chinese city of Anqing in June last year.