Four children have been killed and at least five others injured after a man with an axe stormed into a kindergarten in southern Brazil on Wednesday.
Authorities confirmed three boys and one girl, aged four to seven, died.
The 25-year-old attacker jumped over a wall to enter the daycare centre and turned himself into police after he struck several children with a hatchet on the playground.
He did not have any connection to the Cantinho do Bom Pastor centre which offers nursery services, preschool education and afterschool activities.
Lead police detective Ronnie Esteves told reporters that authorities were searching for a motive.
Parents desperately rushed to the daycare centre in Blumenau and were seen crying outside, fearing their children might be one of the victims.
Blumenau Mayor Mário Hildebrandt confirmed five wounded children were taken to hospital, with one in a serious condition.
Mr Hildebrandt suspended classes and declared a 30-day mourning period for the city in southern Brazil, near the Atlantic coast.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called the attack a “monstrosity” as he sent his condolences and prayers to both the victims and the community.
“A tragedy like this is unacceptable, an absurd act of hate and cowardice,” he said on Twitter.
“There is no greater pain than that of a family that loses its children or grandchildren, even more so in an act of violence against innocent and defenceless children.”
Police said the assailant had a history of violence and drugs, having previously stabbed his stepfather in March 2021.
School attacks are becoming a more frequent occurrence in Brazil, with 16 violent incidents across schools since 2000.
Last week, a 13-year old student stabbed a teacher to death and wounded five others in a Sao Paulo school.
News Source: www.skynews.com.au