A 25-year old man attacked a Brazilian nursery with a small knife and killed four children aged five to seven.
Five children aged between three and five years old were also hurt and taken to the hospital. One child is in serious condition.
He was taken into custody in Blumenau, in the state Santa Catarina. After the atrocity, he turned himself in to a police station and denied any connection to the nursery.
Marcio Alberto Filippi (local security chief) said that the attacker scaled a wall in order to enter Cantinho do Bom Pastor, a private nursing home.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva called the attack “monstrosity” and described it as an “unacceptable absurd act of hatred and cowardice against innocent, defenceless children”. He made this statement via Twitter.
Jorginho Mello, Santa Catarina’s governor, confirmed the killings on Twitter. He wrote: “May God comfort all families in this time of deep sorrow.”
Mario Hildebrandt (Blumau’s mayor) stated that classes were suspended and that the city will observe a 30-day mourning period amid rumours of possible attacks.
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Although attacks on nurseries and schools are not common in Brazil, they have become more frequent in recent years.
A 13-year old student from Sao Paulo stabbed her teacher to death last week and injured several others.
Blumenau is a city of 366,000 inhabitants, and is well-known for its annual Oktoberfest celebration.