At least four children were killed and four other injured when a 25-year-old man armed with a small axe attacked a pre-school in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina on Wednesday, local police and a hospital said.
Police said the man responsible for the attack in the city of Blumenau has been arrested. Local security chief, Marcio Alberto Filippi, told reporters the attacker gained access to the private school by scaling its walls.
Hospital Santo Antonio in Blumenau said that in addition to the four children killed, four others between the ages of three to five are under its medical care.
The attack, dubbed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a “monstrosity,” happened nearly a week after a 13-year-old student stabbed a teacher to death and wounded five others in a Sao Paulo school.
“A tragedy like this is unacceptable, an absurd act of hate and cowardice…an act of violence against innocent and defenseless children,” Lula said in a Twitter post.