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Doctor kills eight children

A former doctor armed with a large knife killed eight children and injured five others at an elementary school in eastern China, a local official has said.

The assailant was arrested after the 7.20am attack today, according to Xinhua news agency. He is a former community clinic doctor with a history of mental health problems, said a man surnamed Wu in the Nanping city government office.

Eight children from Nanping City Experimental Elementary School were killed, and five were being treated at a hospital, Wu said. Six died at the scene.

The attacker, who is 41 or 42, had resigned from his post at the community clinic, Wu said.

The school, located in Fujian province, has been closed.

China has witnessed a series of school attacks in recent years, which are often blamed on personal grudges or people with psychiatric problems, leading to calls for improved security.