Chinese authorities say a first-grader in the southeastern province of Jiangxi was slashed to death and two others severely injured in the latest violent attack on children in the country.

Han Li, a propaganda official for Yiyang county, said Friday that a villager armed with a knife slashed the three children in Luojia village while they were returning home from school for the noon break.

Han says police are searching for the man and the motive for the attack is unclear.

China has seen a string of attacks on children in recent years by culprits often identified as being mentally ill or angry at society. In September, a man fatally stabbed four students as they were walking to their elementary school in the southern province of Guangxi.