Chinese teacher accused of killing 11-year-old girl in class

A teacher has been accused of killing an 11-year-old student at a school in southern China by throwing her out of a fourth-floor classroom window as her terrified classmates watched, a newspaper and a police official said Monday.

Witnesses say Li Hengyi, 28, kicked and punched Zhang Yaoyi and then threw her out of a window last Wednesday at the No. 12 Middle School in the southern city of Yongzhou in Hunan province, the Beijing News reported.

It didn't say what triggered the history teacher's attack but said that Li and Zhang had argued in the past and that Li was known to beat his students.

The paper said students watched in terror as Li slammed Zhang's head against a desk and beat her with his hands, feet and a steel bar, then threw her out the window.

"The whole class ran out of the room by the back door," the Beijing News quoted a student witness as saying. "Many girls were crying. Then we saw teacher Li walk out."

An officer who answered the phone at the Yongzhou police station confirmed that Li was detained as a suspect in Zhang's death but had not been charged. An investigation was under way, said the officer, who would only give his surname, Wu, reports AP.

The paper said the school suspended classes after the attack.