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Asia-Pacific
China to execute school attacker
Xu Yuyuan stabbed 29 children and three adults at a nursery in Jiangsu province.
Last Modified: 15 May 2010 11:46 GMT
Twenty-nine children were injured in the attack
in Taixing city in April [Reuters]

An unemployed man has been sentenced to death for stabbing 29 children, two teachers and a security guard at a nursery school in China's eastern Jiangsu province, state media has reported. 

Xu Yuyuan was convicted of intentional homicide for the attack which left several of the victims badly injured.

At least 300 people were in court for the open trial on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Xu attacked the children, who were all aged four or under, with a meat cleaver at the Zhongxin nursery school in Taixing city on April 29.

The 47-year-old, who had been jobless for nine years, told the court his motive was to vent his rage against society.

He appealed against a death penalty, saying the punishment was too harsh because he had not killed anyone.

String of attacks

A string of recent attacks at Chinese schools has caused outrage and fear in China.

Seventeen people have been killed in five attacks on schools in less than two months and more than 80 injured.

in depth

 

  Video: Knife attacks terrify China
  Video: Dispute behind school attack
  Timeline: China school attacks

The violence has prompted calls for better protection of students and raised questions about China's treatment of people with mental health problems.

Four of Xu's young victims were gravely hurt, according to official media.

Xinhua said the court decided that even though Xu did not succeed in killing his victims, "his criminal motivation was extremely despicable, his means extremely cruel, his plot especially evil".

Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, has said long-standing social concerns were partially to blame for the string of attacks on schoolchildren.

"We need to resolve the deep-seated causes that have resulted in these problems," Wen said in an interview with with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television on Thursday .

"This includes handling social contradictions, resolving disputes and strengthening mediation at the grassroots level."

Source:
Agencies
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