Woman gouges out eyes of boy, six

A woman tricked a six-year-old boy into going into a field, then removed his eyeballs, police in China say.

The boy's brutal ordeal happened on Saturday in a rural area of Linfen city in Shanxi province, the city's police bureau said.

State media said the boy is recovering in hospital, but had lost his sight permanently.

A police officer confirmed that the boy's eyeballs had been removed. The officer, who only gave his surname, Liu, said he could not speculate on a motive because the investigation was continuing. "We are sparing no efforts trying to solve this case," he added.

Mr Liu said the two eyeballs were found at the scene, and that the corneas had not been removed. State media previously raised the possibility that the boy's corneas were taken for sale because of a donor shortage in China.

A news report on a provincial TV channel showed the boy writhing in pain on a hospital trolley, with bandages around his head, and his parents, both farmers, crying.

The Beijing Times newspaper quoted the parents of the boy, whose family name is Guo according to police, as saying that their son had told them he was walking along a path when he was grabbed by a woman. She used an unspecified tool to gouge out his eyes, they said.