Man arrested for stabbing 2 young boys

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Police in Ho Chi Minh City's District 5 detained a local man on Wednesday for stabbing two boys in his neighborhood 11 times, who confessed afterward that he wanted someone to die with him.

At around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Phan Xuan An, 31, approached and chased two-year-old Le Thanh Phung, and six-year-old Le Trung Loi, with a knife as two children were playing with friends on the first floor of an apartment building on An Binh Street in District 5.

Their relatives said An stabbed Phung nine times, while Loi was stabbed twice.

Eyewitness Le Hoang Anh Kiet said he saw Phung laying still in a pool of blood as An continued stabbing him, while Loi was bleeding profusely from his abdomen. Kiet said he screamed for help, prompting other local residents to come and An to run away.

An ran upstairs to the second floor of the building and jumped in an apparent suicide attempt, but was saved by locals who managed to catch him, he said.

The kids were rushed to the hospital.

Phung suffered stab wounds in the chest and abdomen, injuring his diaphragm, stomach, liver and intestines. Loi was stabbed in the abdomen, injuring his left kidney and intestines.

An has confessed to police that he wanted to commit suicide but wished to have "death-mates," so he looked to stab someone with a 20-centimeter knife he had bought one month earlier to peel fruit.

He said he wanted to kill himself out of boredom with his job. Neighbors said An had worked at the People's Committee of District 5's Ward 5, and later at the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of District 5, but quit the latter job three months ago.

Police said An shows no signs of mental illness. His neighbors, however, referred to him as "abnormal."

Kiet said An hardly talks to the anyone in his neighborhood, and sometimes looks up to the sky and speaks in gibberish to himself as he walks alone down the street.

Nguyen Thi Kim Huong, 42, Loi's mother, told Thanh Nien on Thursday afternoon that Loi and Phung were recovering and were "conscious."

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