PERPIGNAN: A Chinese student stabbed to death a 49-year-old secretary and wounded three teachers in an attack at a university in southern France today, a local prosecutor said.

The 26-year-old sociology student stabbed to death the woman and wounded three other people, one of them seriously, at the university in the southern town of Perpignan, public prosecutor Jean-Pierre Dreno said.

He added that the Chinese student had previously been treated

after showing “behavioural problems” and was now in police custody following the killing.

“He attacked them at 9:30 (0830 GMT) in the university’s sociology

department with a butcher’s knife of 20 to 30 cm,” Dreno said.

The three people wounded were university professors and supply teachers, he said. One of them was seriously wounded by knife blows to the face, arms and legs.

President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed his “emotion” at the killing and condolences to the secretary’s family and congratulated the emergency services who had overcome the attacker and treated the victims.

In a statement issued

by his office, he expressed “support for the whole university community

and hopes that investigations will shed light on these events as soon

as possible.”