Chinese media came under criticism after reports of a knife attack on a Chinese primary school was seemingly downplayed, highlighting deep-seated censorship in the communist country.

A man wielding a knife barged into a primary school in central China, stabbing and slashing 23 pupils on the same day of the Connecticut shooting in the US. Reports of the shocking incident in Henan failed to turn up in local headlines which instead gave top coverage to the US shooting, reflecting the ruling Communist Party’s willingness to expose the ills of US society over China’s own, Reuters reports.

The country’s Communist Party committee claimed it sacked six government employees – including two school heads, security officials and senior county education officials – on Monday following condemnation of the attacks. The public expressed frustration over the lax security at the school and how the authorities allowed the assault to go on for so long, reports the South China Morning Post.

Meanwhile, The Xinyang Daily apologized after running a front-page report on Monday praising the local education system without mentioning the attack.

“That report has hurt the victims and their families and has misled public opinion,” Xinyang’s editorial committee said. “It has hurt the feelings of internet users and our readers, too. We feel sincerely sorry and will reflect on this serious mistake”.

28 people, including children and 6 adults, were killed in the Newtown shooting when 20-year old Adam Lanza shot his mother before gunning down children and teachers in Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza reportedly killed himself when he heard police approaching.