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2 toddlers killed in day care rampage

A MAN went on a rampage at a Belgian day care center yesterday, stabbing two young children and a female worker to death and sending 10 other children to the hospital, officials said.

Sobbing parents rushed to the scene and to hospitals, as officials reported some of the wounded children were in serious condition.

Christian Du Four, a local prosecutor, said in the mayhem that ensued the attacker simply walked out and got on his bicycle before being arrested in a nearby supermarket shortly after the 10am attack.

"We have three people dead and 10 in various hospitals," Du Four told a news conference.

The attack caused widespread panic in the day care center, which serves 18 children on a residential street in Dendermonde, a town 30 kilometers northwest of the capital city Brussels.

"People are totally in shock," said Leene Du Bois, a spokeswoman for the regional government of Flanders.

"Nobody would have imagined anyone could do so much harm. There is much grief."

She said the perpetrator had no connection to the day care center.

Media reports said he had a history of mental illness.

Du Four and witnesses said the man rode his bike to the Fabeltjesland day care center, entered and immediately began slashing a knife around.

Both the dead children were believed to below the age of 3.

Du Four did not immediately identify the suspect, who was injured as police detained him and taken to a nearby hospital.

The VRT television network said the man was a local resident.

Du Four said police showed shaken parents photographs of the youngsters who had been taken to hospital, asking them to identify their children.


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