Four people, including two police officers, have been killed and another five people wounded in a rare "mass shooting" in China's northern Hebei province, according to Chinese state television.

Those killed in Suning county on Tuesday included at least one suspect, China Central Television said, giving few other details.

The case is still under investigation, it said.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the assailant, 40-year-old Liu Shuangrui, who was among those killed, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

It said he turned a double-barrelled shotgun on his neighbours, killing two of them, before police arrived at the scene.

Two officers were then shot to death, including the political commissar of the county police department, before Liu was shot and killed.

Xinhua said five other people were injured in the shooting.

The reports by China Central Television and Xinhua could not be independently verified.

Gun violence is rare in China as firearms are tightly controlled and private gun ownership is restricted.

In December, an employee of China's central bank shot and killed two colleagues at the branch where he was working in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

 

Source: Agencies