Police in China have arrested a 25-year-old man in connection with a stabbing at a kindergarten that left six people dead Monday, BBC reported.
The attack occurred at 7:40 a.m. local time in Lianjiang, a city of 1.87 million in China’s southern Guangdong province, when parents were dropping their children off for summer classes, according to the BBC.
Police report that they arrested the suspect 20 minutes later and are considering this an “intentional assault.” Authorities have not elaborated on a potential motive, the BBC reported.
Six dead in China kindergarten stabbing https://t.co/q7y3BnPhc6
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 10, 2023
Despite government efforts to make schools safer, China has experienced numerous school stabbings in recent years. (RELATED: Eight Elementary School Children Killed In Chinese Stabbing Attack)
Three people were killed in an attack targeting a nursery school in August in southern Jiangxi province, and in April 2021, a knife-wielding attacker killed two children and wounded 16 others at a kindergarten in southern China, Al Jazeera reported.
The BBC has documented at least 17 knife attacks at schools and universities since 2010, most perpetrated by males who have expressed a grudge against society. Experts say an increase in mass stabbings could be related to the harsh restrictions Chinese cities were forced to endure during the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlet reported.
Other reasons for the rise in violence could be linked to the high expectations put on men in Chinese society, as well as high levels of youth unemployment and a widening gap between rich and poor, experts have said. A sense of “social deprivation” can lead some men to take their anger out on society, one expert told the BBC.
Since 2010, the Ministry of Public Security has encouraged local authorities to “resolutely crack down” on criminal activities to help safeguard students and teachers, according to the BBC.
Monday’s attack was the top-trending discussion on the Weibo social media platform with 290 million views, Reuters reported.
Fearing copycat attacks, Beijing is restricting state media from reporting full details of the attack, the BBC reported.