Machete-wielding gang attacks students

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 May, 2010, 12:00am

Thirteen vocational school students in Hainan were attacked by a machete-wielding gang in their dormitory early yesterday after earlier getting involved in an argument with some villagers, Xinhua reported.

A student living in the same complex at the Hainan Technology and Vocational Institute in Haikou , the capital of the island province, told - a news portal run by the Hainan Daily News Group - that a gang of five or six men armed with machetes had started hacking anyone they came across after barging into the dormitory at about 2.30am.

He said two students were in serious condition while others suffered minor injuries, the report said.

Xinhua quoted a spokesman from the Haikou City People's Hospital as saying it was treating two seriously wounded students but that their injuries were not life threatening. China News Service reported that one victim's hand was chopped off.

The gang later turned their attention to the campus security office, putting knives at the neck of the duty security guard before smashing a computer link to the campus' closed-circuit television cameras.

One student in Haikou said that some of his roommates had quarrelled and scuffled with strangers while eating barbecued food at some stalls near the campus at about midnight on Tuesday, the China News Service report said.

Five previous attacks on pupils across the mainland in less than two months have left at least 16 children at primary schools or kindergartens dead and dozens of others wounded.

Meanwhile, a 48-year-old unemployed man in Baotou , Inner Mongolia , was detained by police after breaking into a classroom with a gun on Monday, China Radio Net reports. Several primary school pupils were in the classroom at the time and when their male teacher returned to the room he fought with the man. Police found a gun with five bullets on the man. He said he had found the gun in a park.

Assaults targeting schoolchildren have become a hot topic across the mainland since Zheng Minsheng fatally stabbed eight kindergarten pupils in Nanping , Fujian , on March 23. Since then there have been other attacks in Guangxi , Guangdong, Jiangsu , Shandong and Shaanxi .

The Ministry of Public Security has warned that police have been told to shoot anyone attempting to vent their grievances by launching copycat assaults, while calling on kindergartens and primary and high schools to step up security.

Meanwhile, Beijing has asked kindergartens and primary schools in the capital to cancel large-scale celebrations for International Children's Day on June 1 due to the security alert, the Beijing Daily reported yesterday.

Mainland media reports say the Education Ministry has told schools to include safety awareness in curriculums, teach children self-defence, hire security guards and ensure younger pupils are escorted home.

Schools targeted

There have been five other attacks on children at schools or kindergartens in less than two months

The number of children killed in the attacks is at least: 16