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Kindergarten knife attacker executed in China

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Authorities execute man for attack at kindergarten in eastern China
  • 47-year-old Xu Yuyuan appealed death sentence, claiming punishment too severe
  • 29 kindergarten students and 3 teachers were injured in the April 29 attack
  • China has intensified security at schools, issued new knife purchase rules

(CNN) -- A man who had been sentenced to death for attacking 29 children and three teachers at a kindergarten in eastern China was executed Sunday morning, state news reported.

Earlier this month a court convicted 47-year-old Xu Yuyuan of intentional homicide for the April 29 attack at a school in Jiangsu province, the state-run Xinhua news agency said. Xu appealed the death sentence, arguing that the punishment was too severe since no one died in the attacks.

Chinese penal code says a person can be convicted of intentional homicide for acting on an intent to kill, the news agency reported.

In his half-day trial, Xu told the court that his rage against society motivated him in the attacks.

A police probe found Xu had been unemployed since 2001, when he was fired by a local insurance company. He told police he carried out the attack because he was angry about a series of business and personal humiliations, Xinhua said.

Since March at least four knife and cleaver attacks on school children in China have been reported.

Guns are strictly regulated in China, but until recently large knives were not. Chinese authorities have recently issued a regulation requiring people to register with their national ID cards when they buy knives longer that 15 centimeters.

Other measures have been put in place.

In April, the Ministry of Education ordered kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools to restrict strangers from entering the campuses. The ministry instructed schools across the country to hire security guards, install security facilities and ensure that pupils were escorted home. Schools were also urged to teach pupils to how to protect themselves.

In some schools, security guards have been armed with "forks," long poles with semi-circular prongs that can be used to fight assailants.