News / Asia

3 Chinese Students Killed in Knife Attack

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Police in eastern China have arrested a man accused of stabbing to death at least three children.

It was the latest in a series of deadly school attacks in China.

The official Xinhua news agency says 29-year-old Fang Jiantang was taken into custody shortly after the Tuesday attack on a kindergarten in Zibo city of Shandong province.

The report says three children died at the scene. Three more children and four teachers were taken to a hospital.

Xinhua says Fang confessed to the crime and that police have found his weapon - a 60-centimeter long knife.  The motive for the attack was not clear.

At least 15 children have been killed in school attacks this year in China, prompting Premier Wen Jiabao to pledge that the government will address the root causes.

Experts say the likely causes include frustration over the rising gap in incomes, corruption, and a lack of legal channels for dealing with grievances.

Attackers have been described as mentally ill or angry. Chinese courts typically sentence perpetrators to death, but some assailants commit suicide after their killing sprees.

The Associated Press quoted residents near the Shandong kindergarten saying the assailant entered the school at about 4:00 pm as parents were picking up their children.

The agency said officials withheld details of the attack for fear of inspiring copycat killers. It said online postings about the attack were deleted by government censors.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Bloomberg.

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