A tour guide in southwest China stabbed 20 tourists and locals in an attack
blamed on a row over kickbacks from souvenir shops and possibly linked to an
unhappy childhood, Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.
Xu Minchao, 25, was leading 40 tourists through Lijiang, a World
Heritage-listed tourist destination in mountainous Yunnan province, on Sunday
when he suddenly ran into a souvenir shop and demanded a knife, Xinhua said.
"Not realizing the man was ready to kill, a girl in the shop gave him one and
was stabbed immediately in the arm," Xinhua said.
Xu ran back out onto the street to stab and slash four residents and 15
tourists. Two boys were seriously injured, including a 15-year-old who remained
in critical condition in hospital after suffering brain injuries, Xinhua said.
Some 20 police and volunteers caught Xu after he fled into a local home,
Xu's rampage was spurred by an argument with a local guide surnamed Peng
regarding kickbacks from souvenir shops, Xinhua said, citing residents.
In China, tour guide incomes are often derived solely from commissions
obtained from tourists' purchases at designated gift shops and restaurants.
"Though most travel services have rules against taking kickbacks, it's very
difficult to implement (them) because most of the guides are part-timers and do
not report to the companies," Xinhua quoted Li Wei, a tourism official in
Yunnan's provincial capital, Kunming, as saying.
Police were also investigating whether the attack was linked to an unhappy
childhood, Xinhua said.
"Xu ... broke down in tears when talking about his parent's divorce and how
it overshadowed his childhood, according to local police," it