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Crazed axe man kills four in Chinese street attack

FOUR people have been killed and two wounded by an axe-wielding man who attacked children and parents in central China.

A local government spokesman said villagers have identified the perpetrator of the attack on the outskirts of the city of Gongyi as a local farmer with a history of mental illness.

The spokesman said one young girl was among those killed while another was wounded. The spokesman declined to give his name, as is common among Chinese bureaucrats.

China has experienced a string of rampage attacks at schools and on city streets over recent months that left dozens dead and scores more wounded.

Last month, a worker slashed children with a knife at a daycare centre for migrant workers in eastern China, wounding eight of them.

In one of the worst attacks, seven children and two adults were killed at a kindergarten in northern China in May last year.

While seemingly unrelated, the attacks have prompted calls for more attention to serious mental illnesses and concern over rising stress levels in Chinese society. Assailants in most attacks were either mentally unstable, bore grudges against their victims, or were angry over personal failures.

Schools around China boosted security last year, with more guards on hand at entrances.

PA Media