An ax-wielding man burst into a day care center in China and attacked the children inside, killing three and wounding another 13 before police subdued him.
The incident took place Friday in China’s southern province of Guangxi.
Little else is known about the incident, which was first reported in China’s official state news agency, Xinhua. The children, aged between 6 and 12, were reportedly sitting down for lunch at a day care center in a local Pingan county residential compound when the man entered and began swinging at them with an ax.
Wounded children — some severely injured — were rushed to local area hospitals. Police who arrived at the scene were able to disarm the man and arrest him.
Police were still investigating the motivation behind the attack.
Violent incidents against children are not rare in mainland China. In the past two years, a string of attacks at schools and day care centers involving lone attackers rattled the country, culminating with a series of three consecutive school attacks that took place over a three-day period in 2010.
In one of the incidents, Xu Yuyuan, 47, entered a Jiangsu province school in April 2010 and stabbed 29 children and three teachers. Xu told a court the next month that he wanted to "vent his rage against society," and that he was angry after a series of public humiliations and unsuccessful business ventures.
Determined to show that authorities were getting tough on crime against children, the court sentenced Xu to death after a half-day trial.
At the time, officials and social commentators argued that the incidents were isolated and committed by mentally unstable persons or those with extreme grievances against the government.
Many around the country, however, argued the attacks underscored both increasing societal pressures on Chinese people and an urgent need for China to overhaul how it approaches mental health evaluation and treatment.
Earlier this year, Chinese legislatures had begun discussion on much needed mental health law reforms.
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