Olympic officials vowed to tighten security in central Beijing after a U.S. tourist was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack. Police released new details of the Chinese man behind the apparently random attack in which Todd Bachman, father-in-law of the U.S. men's volleyball team coach, was killed and his wife wounded. The man committed suicide afterwards, wrote Reuters. The attacker -- a homeless, jobless, twice-divorced man -- had no previous criminal record and "acted out of despair over personal failures", the official Xinhua news agency quoted police as saying.
"We are going to strengthen the security at scenic spots ... to make sure no sharp weapons can be brought into the area," Beijing Olympic spokesman Wang Wei told a news conference. "Beijing is a safe city but unfortunately we are not immune to violent acts," he said, adding there was no reason to
believe the attack specifically targeted Americans.
The assailant, Tang Yongming, 47, was a former factory worker from the eastern city of Hangzhou. He had vacated a rented house on Aug. 1 when he called his 21-year-old son who just been sentenced to prison, and told him he was leaving but would return once he had made a success of himself. Tang urged his son to stay out of trouble, Xinhua said.
Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed regret during a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush for the attack that took place at Beijing's Drum Tower, a popular tourist spot, wrote Reuters.
Bachman's wife Barbara was in a critical but stable condition on Sunday after undergoing eight hours of surgery. A tour guide who was also wounded in the attack was out of danger.
The crime rate is relatively low in China, where serious offences carry the death penalty. Attacks on foreigners are rare. Reuters
11. Aug 2008 at 17:00