Seven students dead, 12 injured in stabbing attack in Shaanxi Province

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At least seven students have been stabbed to death and 12 injured in a knife attack outside a school in northern China, BBC reported quoting officials.

Police said that five girls and two boys had been killed in the attack, and another nine girls and three boys were injured.

The police said they had taken into custody a suspect, a man with the surname Zhao, born in 1990.

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Of the 19 students assaulted, 14 were girls as young as 12 years old because "male students ran more quickly", reports the Huashang Daily, a Shaanxi province newspaper. Schools have increased security with cameras and gates in the aftermath of such attacks, according to the Times.

China tightly restricts private gun ownership, making knives and homemade explosives the most common weapons in violent crimes. In June, a 22-year-old school dropout was blamed for detonating a bomb outside a kindergarten in the city of Xuzhou, in the eastern coastal province of Jiangsu, killing eight people, including himself. There have been several such knife attacks in the populous country in recent years, per USA Today. One woman was killed and 12 others were injured.

After Mizhi County hospital issued an urgent notice (in Chinese) calling for blood donations from people with blood type AB, hundreds of people flooded into (in Chinese) Mizhi to offer assistance.