Chinese authorities have arrested a man suspected of killing three people and injuring six in a stabbing attack at a kindergarten in southern Jiangxi province Wednesday, according to local public security officials.
Police said the suspect, identified as 48-year-old Liu Xiaohui, fled to a mountainous area in a neighboring county after the attack, triggering a search by more than 1,000 police officers.
Liu was arrested 12 hours later, at 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday local time, police said in a statement Thursday.
It’s not clear if children are among those killed and injured as the identities of the victims have not been made public.
However, Education Ministry officials in Jiangxi have requested urgent efforts to “treat injured children and comfort victims’ families in a timely manner.”
Schools in the area have been urged to “strengthen campus safety.”
“All schools in all regions need to work with public security (and) other departments to immediately and comprehensively carry out a major investigation and rectification of potential safety issues on campuses, including kindergartens,” the ministry said, adding that schools with “insufficient security personnel or insufficient security measures” would be closed for the rest of the summer term.
Violent crimes at schools are rare in China, but not unheard of.
Two children were killed in April 2021 when a knife-wielding man entered a kindergarten in the southern Guangxi region bordering Vietnam. Two teachers and 14 other children were wounded. Local police said the suspect, a local man, had a history of schizophrenia.
In 2020, an attacker with a knife injured 37 children and two adults at another school in Guangxi.