American stabbed to death at Beijing tourist spot

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 July, 2012, 12:00am


An American was stabbed to death yesterday in Beijing by an attacker described by police as having a history of psychological illness.

Howard Thomas Mills, 62, was stabbed at around 3.20pm in the Qudeng hutong, an alleyway close to the popular tourist area of Qianmen in the Xicheng district southwest of Tiananmen Square, Beijing police said.

Police arrested the suspect, An Libo, a 34 year-old from Daqing, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, near the scene of the attack.

Xinhua said An took a train from Daqing and arrived in the capital early yesterday.

Initial investigations showed An was a suspect in two robberies at knifepoint in early January in Shanghai. He was later sent back to Daqing for treatment of a 'psychological illness', Xinhua reported.

Mills arrived in China on July 3, the report said.

The attack follows recent highly publicised crimes involving foreigners, and the launch of a crackdown on illegal foreign workers in Beijing.

In May, an American businessman was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant, also in Qianmen.

He was stabbed in the buttocks by 61-year-old Wang Taichun, from the eastern province of Shandong.

In August 2008, an American tourist was stabbed to death and his wife severely injured at the Drum Tower, one of Beijing's biggest tourism spots.

The 47-year-old attacker then leapt to his death from the tower.