Man arrested for attacking Beijing schoolchildren with hammer

Police apprehended a suspect at the scene

The attack took place at the Xuanwu Normal Experimental Affiliated Number One Primary School, which is affiliated to a teachers' college in the Xuanwu district of the capital.

Of the 20 children taken to hospital, three were reported to have been seriously injured, although their condition was stable, according to the local government.

The Xicheng government did not give other details of the attack, but posts on social media said the children suffered knife wounds to the head. His contract was set to expire this month and had not been renewed.

A tweet by the Global Times said a hammer was used to carry out the assault.

A film of a meeting between school staff and parents soon after the incident circulated widely on social media, in which parents were told a "school worker" had carried out the attack on second grade pupils.

"I heard that children were attacked (by someone) with a knife, so I'm very anxious", said a woman surnamed Zhou as she waited for her child to finish school.

Though the school was discussing another job posting for Jia, he used a hammer and attacked students to "vent his resentment", they said.

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The attacker, originally from northeastern Heilongjiang province, has been detained by police and an investigation was under way, state television said.

"The children were immediately rushed to hospital", the headteacher added.

The school, founded in 1908, has 2,537 students and 199 teaching personnel, according to its website.

Many schools in China have increased security in recent years following violence against students and family members.

Then in June, two students from a leading private primary school in Shanghai were killed in a knife attack on their way home.

In November, five people were killed when a vehicle ploughed into a crowd of children outside a north-eastern Chinese nursery.

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