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Man stabs children at Chinese kindergartenMan stabs 25 children in knife attack in Jiangsu province, the second targeting children in two days
Rio school shooting leaves up to 20 children deadAs many as 20 people are feared dead after a gunman invaded a primary school in Rio de Janeiro and opened fire.One witness told the Guardian he had seen between 15 and 20 children dead or seriously wounded inside the Tasso da Silveira primary school in western Rio."It is a massacre, a true massacre," said Roni de Macedo, a fireman who arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting began and dragged eight seriously injured children from the second floor classroom. "There is blood on the walls, blood on the chairs. There are 15 to 20 dead I think," said De Macedo, who was covered in blood."I've never seen anything like this. It's like something in the United States."Witnesses said the shooting began outside the school at around 8.30am when a man opened fire on two boys, shooting one in the head and one in the arm with what was said to be handgun.He is said to have cotinued through the school's metal gates and up to a packed classroom the second floor, opening fire on children aged between 11 and 13."I saw a load of injured kids, bleeding kids. I saw a dead guy inside. I heard more than 30 shots. My daughter was inside," said Hercilei Antunes, 44, a postman who lives opposite the school."It's always been a calm school," he added, standing on his bloodstained porch where he gave first aid to children who had been shot. "Today I heard shots, shots, shots and more shots. I tried to go in but he shot more and I am not made of steel."With police helicopters hovering overhead, Yvonette Fernandes, 51, wept as she looked for news of her 12-year-old niece alongside scores of desperate parents. "Where is she? I want to know where she is!"
Brazil shooting: 12 children killed in school rampageBrazilian media describes killing by former pupil as the worst school massacre in the country's history
6 killed, 16 wounded in Dutch mall shootingAssociated Press= ALPHEN AAN DEN RIJN, Netherlands (AP) — A gunman opened fire with a machine gun at a crowded shopping mall outside Amsterdam on Saturday, leaving at least six people dead and wounding 16 others, officials and a witness said.The attacker was among the dead after fatally shooting himself at the Ridderhof mall in Alphen aan den Rijn, Mayor Bas Eenhoorn said. The suburb is less than 15 miles (25 kilometers) southwest of Amsterdam.Eenhoorn said that children were among the victims, but he could not confirm whether they were among the wounded or dead, or both."It's too terrible for words, a shock for us all," he said.The gunman's identity was known and it was "all but certain" he acted alone, District Attorney Kitty Nooy said, but investigators were not yet ready to release his name or age. She said he was a native Dutchman from Alphen who has a criminal record.Witness Martine Spruit, a 41-year-old receptionist, told The Associated Press she was shopping at a drug store when she heard bangs and people in the store hid behind shelves. When they realized a shooting was taking place, customers shouted for employees to lock the doors."Then we heard the shots getting further away, so he was walking back and forth," she said. "Then we thought we'd have a look and there were two people lying dead near the entrance ... then he came back shooting so we locked the door again."Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Mark Rutte issued statements saying they were shocked and sympathize with the victims and their families.A witness identified as Maart Verbeek told state broadcaster NOS the attacker had a machine gun and appeared to be shooting at random."There was a panic in the mall, a lot of people running," said Verbeek, a pet shop owner. "I see the attacker coming, walking, and I go inside the store ... and I see him going by with a big machine gun."Hours after the shooting, residents continued to gather at the mall, some of whom appeared to be in a daze."You hear about this sort of thing happening at American schools and you think that's a long way away," said Rob Kuipers, 50, a project manager. "Now it's happened here in the Netherlands."Eenhoorn said several other malls in the town were evacuated, but he would not elaborate on the reason. Dutch television broadcasters showed a bomb squad searching a car parked outside the Ridderhof mall that is believed to have belonged to the shooter.Nooy said there was "no evidence" to support rumors the gunman was a former soldier, and confirmed his house has also been searched. She would not comment on reports that he left a note.Witnesses said he had long blond hair, appeared to be about 25 years old, and wore a leather jacket with camouflage pants.A resident who lives near the mall who gave his name as Marijn said the shooting went on for several minutes. When he went to see whether friends working at the mall were OK, he saw the shooter lying dead in front of a grocery store."There was glass everywhere," the resident said. "He was just shooting everywhere as if it were the Wild West."Images published by the NOS showed the covered body of the shooter just inside a grocery store.With his voice choking at times, Eenhoorn described the incident as a "disaster of unparalleled proportions" for Alphen, known as a quiet residential suburb, and it was all the more shocking because it took place on one of the first sunny days of spring."Under these circumstances, with many people shopping at the Ridderhof today, including parents with children, it's an almost incomprehensible situation," he said.Although rare, shootings and violence are not unknown in the Netherlands. In 1999, four students and a teacher were hurt in a school shooting and in 2004, a teacher was shot dead by a student.There have also been two assassinations in the past decade, the 2002 killing of right wing politician Pim Fortuyn by an animal rights activist and the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by an Islamic extremist.In 2009, a loner drove his car into a group of bystanders during a royal parade, killing eight and wounding 10.Gun permits are difficult to obtain, but illegal automatic weapons and ammunition are frequently seized during drug busts.Two people were killed in Alphen in a drug-related shooting several weeks ago. Nooy said investigators do not believe the incidents are linked. She said investigators were trying to trace the gun or guns used in the attack.One unidentified witness on NOS television said he saw the shooter reload the magazine of his machine gun and continue to fire.Police commissioner Jan Stikvoort denied reports police were slow to respond, saying they arrived while the shooting was ongoing and reached the gunman just as the shooting stopped.
Gunman kills five at birthday party Press Association, Sunday July 24 2011A man attending a birthday party at a roller-skating rink has opened fire after an apparent spat between family members, killing five people and wounding four others before shooting himself.The shootings happened at around 7pm local time on Saturday at Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie, Texas, when police said the man drew a pistol during a fight between a husband and wife.The names and ages of the victims were not immediately released, and the relation of the gunman to the other victims was not clear."It was an argument. The shooter had gotten into here at a private birthday party," said John Brimmer, Grand Prairie police spokesman, according to the Dallas Morning News."It escalated to the point where he pulled a gun and started shooting."The injured survivors were taken to hospitals.Aaron Feldt, of Grand Prairie, told the newspaper he was across the street when he saw some of the victims run across the rink's car park."I saw family coming across the street looking panicked," he said. "They had children along with some adults. You could tell there was a sense of urgency and panic in their eyes.Great Southwest Parkway, a major street in front of the rink, was blocked off after the incident. As of 9.30pm, bodies were still inside the building, the Morning News said.Byron Raspberry, of Grand Prairie, said his children go to the rink frequently because it is near their home. "It doesn't make any sense," he said. "I don't feel safe at all."
Man named as Nordine Amrani threw hand grenades and shot at crowds of Christmas shoppers, wounding dozens, in Belgian cityA convicted gun fanatic threw hand grenades and opened fire on a square bustling with Christmas shoppers in the centre of the Belgian city of Liège, killing at least six people, including himself, and wounding at least 122, some critically.Hours after failing to show up for police questions about his preoccupation with guns, the 33-year-old unleashed a lunchtime attack on Place Saint Lambert, which was hosting a Christmas market that attracts 1.5 million visitors a year.Last night, King Albert II and Queen Paola visited Liège, a tough, post-industrial city in the east of the country, which was in a state of shock after the attack. Initial fears that a trio of terrorists could be responsible were ruled out by police and prosecutors, as was any speculation that Belgium could be contending with a Norway-copycat killing spree. "It was an isolated act which has sown sorrow in the heart of the city," said Willy Demeyer, the mayor of Liège, the main city of Belgium's francophone smaller half, Wallonia.Police said there were no indications that the dead assailant, a local man, had been involved with terrorism. Nor was there evidence of any ideological motivation. He threw three hand grenades while on the busy square, one at a bus shelter, killing two teenage students instantly.An elderly woman died later of her injuries, as did a 23-month infant and a 20-year-old man.The Liège prosecutor's office said 122 people were injured in the shootings and explosions, with many of them reported to be in a grave condition in local hospitals and in the Netherlands nearby.The gunman was named as Nordine Amrani, a 33-year-old Liègeois who was known to be a "gun freak", according to the police. He was given a jail term of almost five years after police officers raided his metal workshop three years ago and found a dozen firearms, including an AK-47 machine-gun, and 9,500 gun parts. He was also found guilty of drug dealing after cultivating 2,800 marijuana plants.Amrani arrived on the square with hand grenades, a rifle and a revolver.He mounted a platform on the square and lobbed three grenades, opened fire with the rifle, and then shot himself with the handgun, according to police.With local bloggers and Twitter networks going into overdrive, there were detailed "reports" on the alleged trio who had supposedly carried out the attack, with one said to have been arrested and the other allegedly fleeing through a bus tunnel after spraying the square with Kalashnikov fire.Police said these reports were entirely inaccurate.Place Saint Lambert is the city centre's busiest traffic hub and the location of the bus station as well as the Palais de Justice, which houses the main court and prison compound. Witnesses spoke of panic and blood-spattered streets as mayhem erupted at about 12.30.Hervé Taverne, a middle-aged man working in the district, told Belgian radio: "We were just coming out of the justice building and we saw someone throwing a hand grenade. It all happened so quickly that we ran for our lives. I grabbed a youngster inside, back into the building."After that various wounded were brought in. We heard gunshots outside. Meanwhile we heard that there were several perpetrators, but we only saw one. We were also told that this was a [prison] escape operation."A delivery man, Dimitri Degryse, was driving past when the gunman opened fire. "I heard an explosion and I thought there was something wrong with my car. Then a second grenade went off, I saw smoke and heard several shots."People were lying bleeding on the ground. I stopped to help them. We tried to get the wounded off the street as quickly as possible."Gaspard Grosjean, a reporter for a Liège newspaper, arrived on the scene moments after the attack. "We saw people with bullet wounds in their shoulders, their hands," he told Reuters. "I see people completely scared, people are crying, everyone is on their phones."Belgian mobile operators reported a surge in calls at lunchtime in the city centre, causing disruption to the networks.The royal couple joined the country's new prime minister, Elio Di Rupo, and other senior government figures gathering in Liège.For Di Rupo, a Socialist of Italian extraction who is from Wallonia and became Belgium's first native French-speaking prime minister in more than 30 years, the tragedy is his first test. He was sworn in as prime minister only last week following Belgium's world record in being unable to form a government – 589 days.While police, prosecutors and politicians all emphasised that the Liège tragedy was no terrorist or politically-inspired assault – "he has no history of terrorist acts," the Liège prosecutor, Daniele Reynders, told journalists – there was no persuasive motive given to explain the rampage.
Far-right sympathiser Gianluca Casseri, 50, kills African migrants before shooting himself deadA lone gunman with extreme rightwing sympathies has gone on a shooting spree in Florence, killing two Senegalese street vendors and wounding three others before killing himself.Gianluca Casseri, 50, an accountant, first shot dead two vendors and wounded a third with a .357 Magnum at the crowded Piazza Dalmazia street market on the outskirts of the city on Tuesday morning.He then fled in a car after threatening to shoot a stall holder who attempted to stop him, reappearing later in the day at the central San Lorenzo market where he fired at two African vendors, wounding both.Police officers found Casseri back in his car in the car park of the market, where they fired warning shots before he reportedly shot himself dead.Described as a solitary type who had recently moved to Florence from a small Tuscan town, Casseri was a fan of fantasy comics and fiction including Tolkien. Last year he published a historical novel.The Italian far-right, anti-immigration organisation Casapound said on Tuesday that Casseri was a "sympathiser" who had frequented one of its centres in Tuscany, holding talks on his book.Around 300 Africans marched in protest at the killings, demanding to see Casseri's corpse. "Don't tell us he was a madman," said one, "because if he was he would have killed whites as well as blacks".A vendor at Piazza Dalmazia said: "Senegalese lads often sell here, they don't make any trouble and no one expected this."
Gunman arrested after shooting in FinlandAn 18-year-old gunman killed one person and wounded eight others in what appeared to be a random shooting in a southern Finnish town, police said Saturday.Officers arrested the suspect outside Hyvinkaa, some five hours after he fired several shots at people from a low rooftop just before 2am (2300 GMT Friday), said Detective Chief Inspector Markku Tuominen.The suspect, a local man from Hyvinkaa, 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital, Helsinki, did not resist arrest, Tuominen said."The man was found with two weapons ... including a hunting rifle," Tuominen said, adding that police knew of no possible motive pending an investigation.The gunman killed an 18-year-old woman and critically wounded two people, including a 23-year-old police officer who arrived at the scene soon after Hyvinkaa police received an alert.Shootings are not uncommon in Finland where there are 650,000 officially recognised gun owners in a population of 5.4 million people, with strong hunting traditions. In recent years, Finland has also seen two deadly school shootings.In 2008, a culinary student killed nine fellow students and a teacher before shooting himself at a vocational school in the western town of Kauhajoki. A year earlier, an 18-year-old killed six fellow students, a nurse and the principal at a high school in Tuusula, southern Finland.After those attacks, authorities took steps to improve safety at schools, including installing surveillance cameras and locks on classroom doors and training staff to deal with shootings.Two months ago, a 23-year-old gunman wounded the father of his former girlfriend in an office building before firing several shots through a classroom door in southern Finland. No one was hurt at the junior high school, and the attacker quickly surrendered.