Police say a knife-wielding woman attacked and wounded over a dozen children at the gate of a kindergarten in China's southwestern city of Chongqing, without giving possible motives for the attack.

Police officers are seen outside the gate of a kindergarten where a woman armed with a kitchen knife attacked children, in Chongqing, China on October 26, 2018.
Police officers are seen outside the gate of a kindergarten where a woman armed with a kitchen knife attacked children, in Chongqing, China on October 26, 2018. (Reuters)

A woman armed with a kitchen knife attacked children at the gate of a kindergarten in China's southwestern city of Chongqing on Friday, wounding 14 of them, police said.

The 39-year-old, identified only by her surname Liu, launched the attack as children returned from morning exercises about 9:30 am (0130 GMT), police said on their official account on China's Twitter-like Weibo.

The victims were taken to hospital while guards and staff at the kindergarten restrained the attacker, said the police, adding that they were investigating. The statement did not give possible motives for the attack.

Images and video footage posted by local media online show children in blood-soaked clothes, some with knife wounds on their face.

Series of knife, axe attacks

Violent crime is rare in China compared with many other countries, especially in major cities where security is tight, but there has been a series of knife and axe attacks in recent years, many targeting children.

Such attacks are often blamed on people with mental illness or who have personal grievances. Knives are most commonly used, because gun controls are extremely strict in China.

In April, a 28-year-old man killed nine middle school students as they were returning home in one of the country's deadliest knife attacks in recent years. The killer, who said he had been bullied when he attended the school, was executed in September.

In January 2017, a man armed with a kitchen knife stabbed and wounded 11 children at a kindergarten in southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

In 2014, a Chinese man attacked pupils at a primary school in China's Macheng city in Hubei province, wounding eight children. 

Source: TRTWorld and agencies