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Two dead, 12 hurt in Beijing knife attacks

world Updated: Sep 18, 2009 13:54 IST

AFP
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A knife-wielding man stabbed two people to death and injured 12 others in a busy shopping area of Beijing, despite tight security ahead of National Day celebrations, state media reported on Friday.

The attacker was identified as Zhang Jangfei, a 46-year-old man from China's northeastern province of Jilin, the Global Times newspaper reported.

The attack occurred on Thursday in the Dashilan shopping street just south of Tiananmen Square, where huge celebrations will be held on October 1 to mark the country's National Day.

China is planning a military parade, mass song and dance performances, and fireworks to celebrate the founding of the communist state 60 years ago.

Preparations for the holiday have included a huge security clampdown aimed at preventing any possible disruption to the celebrations, with thousands of extra police stepping up security checks on highways and the underground rail system.

Staff at Beijing police headquarters said the stabbings were being investigated but declined to confirm the details of the incident or provide any further comment.

The Global Times said Beijing's mayor Guo Jinlong and its police chief both arrived at the scene shortly after the incident.