A woman has died after being attacked by a man armed with a sword on the streets of one of Beijing's most popular entertainment districts, according to media reports.

The incident took place around noon Thursday, outside the Sanlitun Village shopping complex in the heart of downtown Beijing. Video and photos of the incident were widely shared on social media. They show a woman lying on the ground, obviously bleeding from a wound to her chest, being tended to by a man. The woman and her companion are foreigners, Chinese media reported.

Social media reports later said that Beijing police had posted on their official microblog account that the woman died as a result of the injuries she sustained during the attack.

Other images showed the alleged attacker, brandishing a large, Samurai-style sword, standing in the square outside of the shopping complex.



Many of the videos and images shared on social media are extremely graphic, and show the victim in grave distress. IBTimes will not repost them here. Chinese media outlets report that videos of the incident are being blocked on social media networks in the country.

Other images shared on social media showed police confronting the alleged attacker and subsequently leading him away with his hands in restraints. Police have not commented on what the motive for the attack might have been.

In the wake of the attack, rumors circulated on popular Chinese social media platform WeChat that another stabbing had taken place at Beijing's South Station. Those reports have since been discredited, with the station's official Weibo account urging users not to “spread or fall for false rumors,” according to social media reports.