A man has gone on the attack at a primary school in China, killing seven young children and two adults.
Children as young as three years old were among the victims at the private Shengshui Temple Kindergarten on the rural outskirts of Hanzhong, an industrial city in north west China.
The attacker, 48-year-old Wu Huanming, is said to be a familiar figure in the school.
He charged into the kindergarten on Wednesday and hacked at his victims with a cleaver and then committed suicide at home following the attack.
The assault, which left 11 other children hospitalised, was China's fifth school rampage in less than two months, and occurred despite heightened security countrywide, with gates and cameras installed at some schools and additional police and guards posted at entrances.
The attacks have raised concerns about the rising emotional stress in China's high-pressure, rapidly changing society, along with a dire lack of infrastructure to diagnose and treat severe mental illness.
Sociologists say the recent attacks reflect the tragic consequences of ignoring mental illness and rising stress resulting from huge social inequalities in China's fast-changing society.
About 500 kindergartens, primary and high schools in Beijing have hired more than 2,000 professional security guards to increase safety, said a police officer at the Beijing Public Security Bureau.