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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Beijing police are hunting for a man suspected of stabbing five people and then ploughing into a group of nine others with a van, killing one and injuring eight, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The attack took place mid-afternoon on Sunday in the suburban district of Miyun in Beijing's northwestern outskirts. The suspect attacked the group of five people with scissors and then fled in a van, police said.

Xinhua said late on Sunday the injured were being treated in hospital, while the police were still searching for the suspect.

The police did not give a possible motive for the incident but authorities and residents in the country's political centre are sensitive to potential attacks.

In 2013, a vehicle crashed on the edge of Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing, killing five people and injuring dozens in what China said was a planned attack by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a Muslim Uighur separatist group.

Earlier this year a car crashed and overturned near Tiananmen Square, sparking rumours online that said it was linked to extremism. Police deemed the crash an accident and detained two people for spreading false rumours online.

(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Paul Tait)

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Reuters