world : 'I've been stabbed': US teacher recounts China attack

world : 'I've been stabbed': US teacher recounts China attack
world : 'I've been stabbed': US teacher recounts China attack

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:51 PM

Nafeza 2 world - One of the US college instructors stabbed in China during an attack in a busy park has recounted the horror and shock of the incident.

David Zabner is one of four instructors from Cornell College in Iowa who was attacked Monday in the north-eastern province of Jilin, where they were working with a local partner university.

Police say a 55-year-old man with the surname Cui was arrested in the incident.

Mr Zabner said he and his colleagues went to visit the "beautiful, green, mountainous" Beishan Park when a man assaulted them.

“I turned around to find a man brandishing a knife at me," he told Iowa Public Radio, external from a hospital in China. "I didn’t immediately realise what was happening."

“Then I looked down at my shoulder and realised, 'I’m bleeding. I’ve been stabbed,'" he said.

As of Tuesday, Mr Zabner and his three colleagues were receiving treatment for non life-threatening injuries in a hospital. A fifth person, a Chinese tourist, was also injured.

None of the other victims have been publicly identified.

Police have described the attack - a rare occurrence for foreigners in the country - as an isolated incident.

They say the assailant clashed with one of the Americans and stabbed them. He went on to injure three other US visitors and a Chinese tourist who tried to come to their rescue.

“Police told us that he was unemployed and down on his luck, and that somebody in our group bumped into the man,” Mr Zabner told Iowa Public Radio. “And he decided to respond in the way he responded."

Images of the incident circulating online - which showed at least three people bleeding on the ground - appeared to be quickly censored on China's internet.

Mr Zabner was identified as one of the victims by his brother, Iowa Representative Adam Zabner. His brother said David was a Tufts University doctoral student who had visited China before and was on his second trip to the country with Cornell College.

The school in Mount Vernon, Iowa, began a partnership with Beihua University in 2018 to provide money for Cornell professors to live in China and teach a part of a course over a two-week period.

Amid tense diplomatic relations, Beijing and Washington have sought to re-establish people-to-people exchanges in recent times.

Mr Zabner said he first participated in the Cornell-Beihua program in 2019 to teach computer science classes.

He said it was cold outside during his first visit to the country and was excited for this trip because it was the summer months, he told Iowa Public Radio.

Mr Zabner's brother, Adam, told the BBC the US State Department and Iowa's federal delegation were working to bring him back.

"My family is incredibly grateful that David survived this attack," he said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said Tuesday on X, previously known as Twitter, that the US was "deeply concerned" by the stabbing.

He said his team had been in touch with their Chinese counterparts and the victims of the attack to ensure they were receiving help and that "appropriate law enforcement steps are being taken".

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