The death toll has risen to 11 with another 44 people hospitalized after a man allegedly drove an SUV deliberately into a crowd in central China before jumping out and attacking victims with a dagger and shovel, local authorities in China say The Hengyang city government says the suspect in the case had previous convictions for crimes including drug trafficking, theft and assault and, acting alone, had sought to "get revenge on society." That appeared to rule out terrorism, although vehicles have previously been used in attacks blamed on militant Muslim separatists, the AP reports.
Police identified the suspect as 54-year-old Yang Zanyun from Hengdong county in the largely agricultural province of Hunan. Tuesday night's attack happened in a public square where people typically gather to dance in groups or enjoy the cool evening breezes. The SUV apparently appeared without warning, jumping the curb before plowing into the crowd. China has experienced violent attacks in public places in recent years, including bombings and arson of buses and buildings. Occasionally, the attacks are attributed to militant separatists, though such incidents have become less common in recent years amid a stifling security crackdown.