A man armed with a hammer and gasoline burst into an elementary school Friday morning, attacked five children with the hammer and then set himself on fire in yet another of the mysterious attacks on Chinese schools that have terrorized parents and children around the country.
The latest attack took place in the small city of Weifang, in the eastern province of Shandong, at 7:40 a.m.
The assailant, identified as Wang Yonglai, a 45-year-old farmer, burned to death, according to the official New China News Agency. Teachers managed to rescue two children he had been holding in his arms when he set himself ablaze.
The attack at a Chinese elementary school was the fifth since last month and the third in the last three days. All of the assailants were middle-aged men, apparently unemployed, leading to speculation that the assaults were a form of social protest against rising income disparity in China.