China suffers new school killings

Hanzhong city

Seven children have been hacked to death in north-western China in the latest in a series of violent attacks on schools, state media report.

At least 20 others were injured after the attack in Hanzhong city in Shaanxi province, Xinhua news agency reported, citing local authorities.

China has been shaken by a spate of attacks on schools in recent weeks.

In March, a man stabbed to death eight pupils at a school in Fujian province, and several similar attacks followed.

A doctor was convicted of the Fujian attack and executed.

But in the space of a week in late April, three more attacks in different parts of China left dozens of children injured.

Motives for the attacks are not known, although officials have speculated that the incidents in late April were likely to be copycat attacks.

Hanzhong city official Liu Xiaoming told the Associated Press news agency that the man who carried out the killings in Hanzhong had killed himself afterwards. This has not been independently confirmed.

The official also told AP that a teacher had been killed along with the seven children.

Last month, the education ministry ordered all schools to upgrade their security facilities, teach students about safety and ensure that young children were escorted home.

But correspondents say such measures are expensive and their effectiveness is unproven.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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