China: 10 killed in knife attack at hospital in southwestern Yunnan province, suspect arrested

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Beijing: More than 10 people have been killed in a knife attack reported at a hospital in the southwestern Yunnan province on Tuesday, according to local media reports. Xinhua News Agency termed it a “vicious assault” that resulted in over 10 casualties, although unnamed authorities earlier claimed two people had died and 23 injured.

The attack took place at Zhenxiong County People’s Hospital in Zhaotong city and a suspect has been arrested, the Guizhou TV post reported. Authorities are in the process of gathering more information, and it remains unclear whether the suspect apprehended is indeed the attacker. “As of 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, more than 10 casualties were reported in a hospital attack in Zhenxiong County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, local authority said,” wrote Xinhua.

A witness told Red Star News, an online outlet, that he narrowly escaped the attack and that a doctor or doctors were among the injured. Video from the witness showed people who were bleeding and had fallen to the ground, and one older person trying to help another, a Red Star social media post said.

An eyewitness interviewed by the Chinese state media outlet, The Paper, described the situation as chaotic as authorities worked to assess the situation. Images published by the outlet showed a man in black, who appeared to be wielding a knife in each hand. Another man was standing in front of him in that shot, BBC reported.

Firearms are banned in China but the country has seen a spate of knife attacks in recent years. In August last year, two people were killed and seven others injured after a man with a history of mental illness attacked people with a knife in a residential district in Yunnan. Prior to that, six people, including three children, were killed in a kindergarten stabbing in the south-eastern Guangdong 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, according to CNN.

(with inputs from agencies)

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