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Six Dead In China After Knife Attack

A man stabbed five people to death in China Friday before being shot by police. This is the second major knife attack in China this month.
Posted at 11:00 PM, Mar 14, 2014

Six people were killed Friday in China's Hunan Province after a dispute erupted into a bloody stabbing rampage.

"Police tell us an argument between two vendors escalated and led to the stabbing spree. They say this was not a terrorist incident." (Via CNN)

Radio Free Asia reports the conflict began at 10 a.m. in an open-air market between two vendors selling flatbread. One witness told the outlet, "[The suspect] used a big knife they use for cutting the bread. It started as a fight inside one of those ... bread shops, and then he stabbed the other guy to death."

The South China Morning Post reports the suspect attacked an additional four people as he fled the scene, but was later shot dead by police. Three of the stabbing victims were pronounced dead at the scene; the two others were hospitalized but later died of their injuries.

​Authorities have ruled out terrorism as the cause of Friday's incident, but the stabbing has drawn several comparisons to a brutal knife attack which took place less than two weeks ago.

A group of attackers wielding knives killed 29 people and wounded at least 140 in a Kunming train station earlier this month. Separatists from China's Uighur ethic minority group were believed to be responsible for the attack. (Via BBC)

The New York Timesreports both vendors involved in Friday's stabbing were from the same region as the separatists, a fact which has not escaped commenters on China's Sina Weibo social network. The paper reports one user wrote, "This is really maddening. Better stay away from huge crowds and Uighurs."

But most Chinese sources have discouraged parallels between the terrorist attack of early March and Friday's incident. An editorial in China's pro-government Global Times encourages readers not to draw conclusions about the stabbing based solely on the ethnicity of the suspect.

"Although media reports have downplayed the ethnic aspect in Friday's incident ... many people still cannot resist thinking or talking about it. It is hard to give up such thoughts, but we must try harder."

Earlier reports suggested there were multiple suspects in Friday's stabbing, but those stories have been taken down. Police say the incident is still under investigation.