China: 4 US instructors stabbed in public park, suspect arrested

The injuries are not critical, said officials

Tourists walk past a gateway with the name Tourists walk past a gateway with the name "Beishan" seen at the Beishan Park in northeastern China's Jilin province, where four US instructors were stabbed on Tuesday | AP

Four US instructors from Iowa's Cornell College teaching at Beihua University in northeastern China were stabbed in a public park on Tuesday. A 55-year-old suspect was arrested by the police relating to the incident. 

The injured were rushed to a hospital for treatment. None suffered life-threatening injuries, said Lin Jian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson. The instructors were on a daytime visit to the park when the attack occurred.

Cornell College President Jonathan Brand in a statement said that the instructors were attacked while in the park with a faculty member from Beihua. 

Cornell spokesperson Jen Visser said in an email that the college was still gathering information about what happened.

The US State Department in a statement confirmed the incident and said it was monitoring the situation. The attack happened at a time when China and the US were seeking to break down cultural barriers and help bolster relations amid tensions over trade and existing issues with Taiwan. 

Meanwhile, the police said that the attacker had bumped into one of the instructors and then attacked them and the three others with them.

A Chinese tourist was also injured while trying to help to stop the attacker, police added. The four were from Cornell College in the US state of Iowa and were teaching at a college in Jilin, police added.

Lin said China has taken effective measures to protect the safety of foreigners. We believe that the isolated incident will not disrupt normal cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, he added.

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