Officials: Chinese Kindergarten Blast Attacker Had Neurological Disorder

An investigator walks at the scene of an explosion inside a kindergarten in Fengxian County of Xuzhou in Jiangsu Province, China Friday. (Reuters/Aly Song)

XUZHOU, China (Reuters) - The man who set off a self-made explosive device outside a Chinese kindergarten killing eight people and injuring 65 others on Thursday had a neurological disorder and had scrawled words for death on the walls of his home, officials said on Friday.

The 22-year-old man, surnamed Xu, was among those killed in the blast near the entrance to the kindergarten in Xuzhou, a city in the coastal province of Jiangsu, police said in a briefing shown on state media.

The official Xinhua news agency said police were considering the act a “criminal offence.”

Xu had dropped out of an unnamed school due to his neurological condition and rented an apartment near the kindergarten, a leading Chinese news channel said.

“Self-made explosive device materials were found in his apartment, and on the walls in many places were handwritten words such as kill, death, destroy and terminate,” it said.

Two people died at the scene of the blast and six more died from their injuries in the hospital. Xinhua reported on Thursday night that eight people were in critical condition.

China’s Ministry of Education issued a statement demanding that education officials strengthen security around schools to ensure the safety of students and teachers.

Local authorities said that contrary to early reports the blast did not occur while parents were picking up children after school, according to the People’s Daily.

Explosives are relatively easy to obtain in China, home to the world’s largest mining and fireworks industries.

Violent crime is rare in China compared with many other countries, but there have been a series of knife and axe attacks in recent years, many targeting children.