A six-year-old boy in northern China has been left permanently blinded after a woman gouged out his eyes in a brutal attack that has shocked the country.
The horrifying incident happened Saturday in Shanxi province. The woman reportedly lured the boy into a field where she removed his eyes with an unspecified tool.
The boy’s family later found him covered in blood and rushed him to hospital.
His eyes were recovered, but doctors were unable to save his sight.
Police have launched a massive manhunt for the woman and local authorities are offering a 100,000 yuan ($16,000) reward for her capture.
Initial media reports said the woman might have been trying to get her hands on the boy’s corneas to sell on the organ transplant black market.
But police said the corneas were found attached to the eyeballs and have ruled out the possibility of organ trafficking.
Photos posted online show the boy, heavily bandaged, lying in a hospital bed. Reports said he still didn't know that he had been blinded for life.
"He asks why the sky is always dark ... and why the dawn still hasn't come," an uncle of the boy was quoted by the media as saying.
"We could only tell him that his eyes had some injury and have to be bandaged. (We tell him that) they will be fine after the bandage is removed.”