Public sensitivity to security at railway stations has heightened since a mass stabbing last March at a train station in Kunming that left 31 dead. Photo: AP

Chinese police shoot man dead at railway station

Man tried to grab policeman's gun at Qing’an Railway Station in Heilongjiang, police say

Chinese police shot dead a man at a railway station in the country’s north-eastern Heilongjiang province on Saturday, saying that he was threatening public security and assaulting police, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Public sensitivity to security at China’s railway stations has heightened following a series of incidents including a mass stabbing at a train station last March in the south-western city of Kunming that left 31 dead. Authorities said that was carried out by separatist militants from the western region of Xinjiang.

Citing a spokesman from the Harbin railway police authority, Xinhua said on Saturday that a middle-aged man forcibly prevented passengers passing through the security gate at Qing’an Railway Station in Suihua City at midday.

When a patrolling policeman tried to stop him, the man picked up a child and threw him at the police, Xinhua said. The man also tried to grab the policeman’s gun and club, and the police opened fire to keep passengers safe, it added.

No passengers were injured and the suspect, whose identity has not been confirmed, died in the incident, the spokesman said. He said police were still investigating the case.

Violent crime is rare in China compared with many other countries, but there have been a series of knife attacks in recent years, many on school children.

In March this year, knife-wielding attackers slashed and stabbed people at a railway station in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, wounding at least nine before police shot dead one of the suspected assailants and arrested another.