Six people were killed in a knife attack at a preschool in China’s southern Guangdong Province on Monday.
The attack happened around 7:40 a.m., according to a statement from local police in Lianjiang, a city of less than 2 million about 300 miles west of Shenzhen. A 25-year-old local man named Wu was arrested. No potential motive has been provided.
A statement from the police did not provide information about the victims, but state media reports said residents saw a child and two adults lying on the ground near the entrance to the preschool. Apart from the six dead, one was injured.
Knife attacks are common in China, where guns are tightly controlled and shootings are rare. And many shootings have targeted schools. In August, a gunman killed three people and injured six others at a kindergarten in Jiangxi Province in southeastern China. In 2021, two people died and 16 were injured in an attack on a kindergarten in the southwestern region of Guangxi.
The government has called on schools to improve security, especially after a series of school attacks in 2010 that left more than two dozen people dead, including 19 children. Attackers in such cases are often sentenced severely, sometimes to death.
The authorities often say that the attacks are on people with “hate” or those who seek “revenge on society.” Experts and some officials have suggested that the attackers acted out of frustration with China’s rapidly changing society and social factors such as unemployment. But China’s mental health resources remain meager, and the social safety net is thin.
The government also tightly controls information about those attacks, as well as other tragedies. Victims’ names are often not made public, and relatives are sometimes prevented from speaking.