1 dead, 12 injured after knife attack in mega Beijing mall

1 dead, 12 injured after knife attack in mega Beijing mall

Beijing knife attack
Photos circulating on Chinese social media show an individual on a stretcher. 

BEIJING: A woman was killed and 12 other people injured after a man carried out a knife attack at a popular shopping mall in downtown Beijing on Sunday (Feb 11), said police. 

The attack happened at around 1pm at Joy City in the busy commercial area of Xidan. 

The suspect has been arrested. Police identified him as a 35-year-old surnamed Zhu from the northern province of Henan.

The man had already confessed to carrying out the attack to "express his discontent", police added, without elaborating.

Beijing radio showed pictures on their WeChat account of blood spattered on the floor in a part of the mall, and at least one injured person being taken from the scene.

In a video posted on Twitter, shoppers were seen running towards an exit, and a trail of blood was left behind by an injured man. 

Joy City, a 13-storey complex, is the biggest mall in the Xidan area, with international brand names and a large digital cinema.

Police investigations are underway. 

ATTACKS IN CHINA

Violent crime is rare in China compared with many other countries, especially in major cities where security is tight, but there has been a series of knife and axe attacks in recent years, many targeting children.

In 2015, police arrested a sword-wielding man who killed a Chinese woman and injured a French man in Beijing's fashionable Sanlitun shopping and entertainment district.

Such attacks are often blamed on people with mental illness or who have personal grievances. Knives are most commonly used because gun controls are extremely strict in China.

However, the government has also blamed some knife attacks on militants from the violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang, where Beijing says it faces an Islamist insurgency, adding to China's nervousness about such incidents.

Thirty-one people were killed in 2014 during a knife attack at Kunming train station in southwestern China that the government said was the work of Xinjiang militants. Police shot dead four of the attackers.

Source: CNA/ad

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