'Knifeman' arrested after 20 children attacked at primary school in Beijing

'Knifeman' arrested after 20 children attacked at primary school in Beijing

Students were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment, with the three that suffered the most serious injuries now in stable condition, according to police.

Police in the Xicheng district of the city said in a statement on Weibo that they had detained a 49-year-old male suspect surnamed Jia, who was a former fix worker at the school.

Another former maintenance worker at the school surnamed Liang suggested that the suspect was angry because he had been let go at the end of his probation period.

All of the injured children are now being treated at a local hospital.

Outside the school gates Tuesday afternoon, parents who were there to pick up their kids said they had received little information about the attack.

However, Jia was upset about the arrangement and used his hammer to attack students during class, ' the statement read. Authorities did not identify the weapon used in the attack.

"The details are still not clear", wrote one parent on WeChat.

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The attack which took place at the Beijing No.1 Affliated Elementary School of Xuanwu Normal School, was carried out with a hammer, according to state-media outlet the Global Times.

Police cars lined the main road close to the school when Reuters arrived at the scene.

Earlier posts on social media said the children suffered knife wounds to the head and reports said the attack happened during a PE lesson.

Police told CCTV that Jia's contract, due to expire in January, had not been renewed by the labor company that had dispatched him to the school, and that he had attacked the students to "vent his discontent".

Violent crime is rare in China but there have been several attacks on school children in recent years.

Two children were also stabbed to death outside a Shanghai kindergarten in June, while nine children died in a knife attack at a school in Shaanxi province in April.

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