A farmer attacked and injured five kindergarten students with a hammer in eastern China before burning himself to death Friday in the latest in a string of horrific assaults on children at Chinese schools, state media reported.
The attacker used a motorcycle to break down a gate of the school in Shandong province's Weifang city, struck a teacher who tried to block him and then used the hammer to attack the children, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The assailant then grabbed two children before pouring gasoline over his body and lighting himself on fire, but teachers at the Shangzhuang Primary School were able to pull the children away to safety, Xinhua said. The man died, but none of the children had life-threatening injuries, Xinhua said.
China has been reeling from a series of attacks on schoolchildren, with the latest incident coming just a day after a 47-year-old unemployed man rampaged through a kindergarten in Taixing city in Jiangsu province, wounding 29 students aged 4 or 5 years old, five of them seriously.
Experts called that a possible copycat rampage triggered by similar incidents Wednesday and last month. They said the wave of school attacks falls amid poor care for the mentally unstable and growing feelings of social injustice in the fast-changing country.