Two dead, 21 injured in hospital knife attack in China

At least two people were killed and another 21 injured in a knife attack in a hospital in China’s southwestern province of Yunnan on Tuesday, local authorities said.

The attack took place just before midday at Chengnan Hospital in Zhenxiong, the county’s public security bureau said in a statement.

A 40-year-old man was arrested and the case is under investigation, local police said.

Authorities said they do not know the motive for the attack.

The alleged attacker’s cousin said he had previously been jailed for three years for injuring others in a dispute over a motorcycle transaction, according to the state-owned Henan Daily.

“Before he was imprisoned, his character was still good. He used to behave well. But after he came out…he felt that he had been wronged,” the cousin was quoted as saying.

The report has since been deleted from Chinese news platforms, where censors routinely scrub content.

Another report from the Cover News, a state-owned media outlet, confirmed the suspect was sentenced to three years in jail for “intentional injury” in 2013, citing a court document.

China, where private gun ownership is illegal is for most civilians, has faced a spate of mass stabbings in public places in recent years.

Last year, six people were killed and one injured in an early morning knife attack outside a kindergarten in southern China’s Guangdong. A 2020 knife attack at an elementary school injured 37 children and two adults in the southern Guangxi region, while a 2022 stabbing, also at a kindergarten, killed three and injuring six in eastern Jiangxi province.

Yunnan was also the location of a 2014 knife attack at a train station in the provincial capital of Kunming, where multiple assailants killed 33 people and wounded 133. Authorities blamed terrorists from its Northwestern region of Xinjiang for that attack.

Violence at hospitals is also not unheard of in China, where health professionals have a history of facing assault from patients or their families, often over concerns about high costs and standard of treatment.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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