A still from a video showing police officers surrounding the woman wearing a red top Image Credit: Social Media

Hong Kong: A woman with a knife attacked students at a kindergarten in southwestern China on Friday, injuring 14 children before she was stopped by teachers and guards, the police said.

The attack at the kindergarten in the Banan district of the city of Chongqing happened at about 9.30am as children were returning to class after morning exercises outdoors, the Chongqing police said in a statement.

The injured children were sent to hospitals for treatment. There was no immediate word on their conditions.

The suspect, who was identified only as a 39-year-old woman with the surname Liu, was arrested immediately after the stabbing spree. Video posted by Chinese news outlets showed police officers surrounding a woman wearing a red top as bystanders screamed, kicked and punched at her.

Shootings are rare in China, where guns are tightly regulated and difficult for private citizens to acquire. But mass stabbings are not uncommon, and the targets are often schoolchildren.

In April, nine children were killed by a man who attacked a school in Shaanxi province. And two children were killed in an attack in Shanghai in June.

Experts say the assailants are sometimes trying to vent anger at society over issues such as unemployment. Mental health is often listed as a factor.

Scholars said that a series of deadly stabbings of children in 2010 has since inspired multiple copycat attacks.

In recent years schools have added security guards and safety training. Video of the Chongqing suspect's arrest shows one tool that is increasingly common: long metal rods with two prongs at the end that are used to pin knife-wielding attackers.