China attacker stabs five to death after row: Police

China attacker stabs five to death after row: Police

BEIJING - An attacker in China stabbed five people to death on Friday before being shot dead, authorities said, ruling out terrorism two weeks after 29 people were killed in a mass stabbing blamed on Xinjiang militants that stunned the nation.

A vendor in a market fatally attacked another during an argument, then stabbed four bystanders before officers killed him, police in Changsha in the central province of Hunan said on their verified account on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter.

Two of the bystanders died at the scene while the two others succumbed later in hospital, it added.

A Changsha official told AFP by phone: "I can assure you it's not a terror attack. It happened in a market due to some dispute."

The Hunan Evening News said the vendors came from China's far-west Xinjiang region, home to China's mainly Muslim Uighur minority, but their ethnicity was not confirmed.

It added that two people, including one woman, had been detained, while the official news agency Xinhua reported that a "group of knife-wielding assailants" were involved.

One victim was an elderly woman in her 80s who had just walked on to the street, a Hunan radio station reported.

Photos posted on Sina Weibo - whose authenticity could not be verified - appeared to show the bloodied bodies of three men on the ground, with armed police and bystanders nearby. Another showed a man being taken away by officers.

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