Beijing: Yet another deadly "social
revenge" attack on Wednesday shook China when a person armed with a
kitchen cleaver slaughtered seven children, their teacher and
her 80-year-old mother at a kindergarten school before killing
himself in a northwestern village of the country.
The deadly rampage took place at about 8 am (local
time) at the privately-run kindergarten in Linchang Village in
the Shaanxi province when 48-year-old villager Wu Huanming,
who apparently owned the school building, barged inside
started hacking children.
Seven children - five boys and two girls - and their
teacher 50-year-old Wu Hongying were killed on the spot and
Wu`s mother later died in the hospital, the Shaanxi Provincial
Emergency Response Office said in a statement.
Eleven other children were injured, two severely. They
are being treated in hospital.
Wu Huanming returned home after his gory killings and
committed suicide, the statement said.
An initial police investigation showed that Wu had
been unhappy after a property dispute with the teacher Wu
Wu Huanming had rented out his house to Wu Hongying
to run the kindergarten, without approval from any government
Wu Huanming demanded in April that his house should
be vacated when the lease expired, but teacher said she hoped
to return the property in June or July, during the school
vacation, official Xinhua news agency reported.
About 20 children went to the kindergarten this
morning, Zhao Leji, Chief of the local Communist Party of
This is the seventh such gory attack on schools in
different places since late March, in which 18 children have
been killed and over 80 others including few teachers injured.
One attacker - a community doctor - has already been
executed by firing squad after he was found guilty by local
courts and another self immolated himself after killing the
The state-run media routinely carried rudimentary
details of these attacks with some analysis by commentators.
But not many details were available on what was the root cause
of all these attacks which has now assumed a pattern, with
enraged and unhappy men, generally regarded as failures
targeting hapless children to vent their anger at easy
Both the central and provincial government appeared
clueless about how to deal with the attacks as they were not
carried out by any organised networks but by desperate
Heavy security have been ordered in lakhs of schools
all over the country with most of the schools employing guards
and deployment of local police for protection.
These attacks were being generally described by local
sociologists as "social revenge" or "copy cat" attacks.
"The attackers all have grudges against society. They
all try to take revenge by attacking young and vulnerable," Ji
Jianlin, a professor of clinical psychology at Shanghai`s
Fudan University said.
The incidents reflected social tension caused by
rampant corruption and inequality and lack of social and
psychological support in the rapidly changing society.
"In the past, China`s workers used to have social
support from the unions or women`s associations. They used to
provide quite adequate support. It`s now quite weak."
By attacking children, these men-who are themselves
weak-achieve their goal (of hitting back at the society) in
the shortest possible time said psychiatrist Wang Jian who
works at Beijing`s Huilongguan hospital.
Li Meijin, Professor of criminal psychology, blamed
media attention for the growing number of attacks.
"When media portrayed the attacker as weak member of
the society, it encouraged more people in similar situations
to follow suit," she said.