Man stabs eight people to death in China
Sun, May 09, 2010

BEIJING - A man stabbed to death eight people, including three family members, in eastern China, state media quoted police as saying Sunday, the latest in a spate of attacks that have shocked the nation.

The suspect Zhou Yezhong killed his mother, wife, daughter, four neighbours and one migrant worker with a knife at about 6:00 pm Saturday (1000 GMT) in Chengyuan village, Badu Township, in Jiangxi province, Xinhua news agency said.

He was caught at about 7:50 pm by police and an investigation is under way.

Cities around China have taken preventative measures following a series of attacks on children.

On April 30, a farmer armed with a hammer injured five children and a teacher at a primary school in the eastern province of Shandong before setting himself on fire.

A day earlier, a jobless man apparently angry over a series of personal and professional setbacks slashed 29 children and three adults at a kindergarten in the eastern city of Taixing.

That attack came a day after a 33-year-old teacher placed on sick leave for mental problems injured 15 students and a teacher in a knife attack at a primary school in southern China's Guangdong province.

And on the same day, authorities in Fujian province in the southeast executed a former doctor for stabbing to death eight children and injuring five others in March in a fit of rage after he broke up with his girlfriend.

The attacks underscore how China -- which has enjoyed lower violent crime rates than the West -- faces a growing public safety threat from disgruntled individuals amid rising mental illness rates and looser social controls.

Studies have cited a rise in mental disorders, some linked to stress as society becomes more fast-paced and old communist-era supports were scrapped.

A study last year estimated that 173 million adults in China have some type of mental disorder -- 91 percent of whom had never received professional help.

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