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Man kills six in knife attack in Xinjiang
By Mu Zi (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-22 06:02

A man killed six people and injured eight others on Sunday in a shopping centre in Shanshan County, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, before jumping to his death off a building.

Local police said the suspect, Yusufu Ismail, 40, was a farmer from Pizhan Township. Preliminary investigations suggest the ethnic Uygur man was "hostile towards society" and committed the murders as an act of reprisal.

An injured child receives treatment in a hospital in Shanshan County, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Sunday February 20, 2005. [newsphoto]

The suspect died when he jumped from the shopping centre as he was being chased by police. Further investigations are continuing.

According to Xinhua News Agency, Yusufu Ismail was addicted to drugs 10 years ago and displayed homicidal killing impulses on many occasions.

The murders happened at about 12:30 pm on Sunday when the suspect, holding a 20-centimetre-long knife, broke into a skating rink on the third floor of the Pengda Commercial Centre, and stabbed at least 14 people on the spot, most of whom were teenagers.

A young boy and a 17-year-old girl were killed immediately and four others who were seriously wounded died later at the county's People's Hospital, according to local media.

None of the other eight injured people, who were still receiving medical treatment at the hospital, were in a critical condition.

From hospital, Xia Wen, a 14-year-old girl injured in the attack said she had been playing at the rink when the incident happened.

"I was stunned when I saw a man rush in and attack some other people. There were about 30 to 40 people in the rink at that time," Xia recalled.

The wards and corridors at the hospital were crammed with the victims' parents and other relatives. A young mother even lost consciousness when she heard her eight-year-old son, Xia Yuchao, had died.

Fifty-four-year-old Chen Delan, owner of a video game centre near the skating rink, was severely injured. Her daughter said Chen had been attacked while trying to protect some children.

A local newspaper reported that Yusufu Ismail had played video games at Chen's centre before he committed the murders.

The man lost a lot of money and became anxious after playing, said the report.

Local residents said this had been the most serious crime in the county for the past two decades.

Local officials and medical experts from Urumqi, the regional capital, rushed to the hospital to help. The Pengda Commercial Centre has reopened. 

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