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Chinese Attacker Kills 1 American, Injures Another in Beijing

  • Stephanie Ho

A Chinese man attacked two American tourists in Beijing, killing one and seriously injuring the other, before taking his own life. Stephanie Ho reports from Beijing.

The U.S. Olympic Committee's Darryl Seibel says the American couple and their Chinese tour guide were attacked Saturday while sightseeing in Beijing.

"They were at the Drum Tower. They were stabbed in the attack. And shortly after the attack, the assailant took his own life. That's really the extent of what I know about the attack itself," explained Seibel.

The attacker was 47-year-old Tang Yongming, a man the U.S. Embassy in Beijing says was from the eastern province of Zhejiang.

The stabbing occurred on the very high second level of the Drum Tower, which is only accessible by a steep stairway. Afterwards, Tang committed suicide by jumping off the monument.

Official Chinese media give no motive for the attack. Attacks on foreigners in China are very rare. And security in Beijing has been especially tight because of the Olympics, which opened Friday.

The U.S. Olympic Committee's Seibel says the victims were family members of a coach for the U.S. Olympic men's indoor volleyball team. But he says he does not believe they were specifically targeted.

"My understanding is that the individuals who were attacked were not wearing apparel that obviously or automatically identified them as members of the United States delegation or in any way connected them to the United States delegation," said Seibel.

He says the U.S. Olympic Committee is in touch with Chinese and U.S. authorities about the case.

President Bush, who is in Beijing to attend the Olympics opening ceremony and several sporting events, expressed his condolences.

"Laura and I were also saddened by an attack on an American family and their Chinese tour guide today in Beijing. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," he said.

The U.S. Olympic men's indoor volleyball team plays its first match Sunday.

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