Farmer hacks to death six in central Chinese village

Other News Materials 3 August 2008 16:45 (UTC +04:00)

Police in central China arrested a man with a history of mental illness after he used agricultural tools to hack to death six people on Saturday, state media said on Sunday. ( dpa )

Zhang Jinfu, 43, was arrested on Saturday morning while trying to flee from his home village of Xuyang, near Luodian town in Hubei province, shortly after the attacks, the official Xinhua news agency said.

His victims included two brothers in their 60s, a couple in their 50s, an elderly woman and a seven-year-old boy.

The boy's mother was in critical condition in a local hospital after she tried to protect her son from Zhang.

Zhang attacked the villagers with a sickle and another sharp tool designed for rice harvesting, the agency said.

It did not say if any of the victims were related to him.

Villagers said Zhang was previously treated for mental illness, the agency quoted police officer Xiang Jun as saying.

Zhang appeared mentally disturbed during the police interrogation, leading officers to speculate that his mental illness may have recurred, Xiang said.