An Indian villager axed to death four women and five young girls on Thursday while apparently mentally disturbed after his wife left him, police said.
Pandu Nagesia, 35, killed nine of his neighbours during a deadly rampage through Behratoli village in the central state of Chhattisgarh, district police chief Govardhan Singh Darroh told AFP by telephone.
The victims were five girls aged between two and nine, a 25-year-old and three women over 60, he said.
"A total of nine females were axed to death," Darroh said.
"The accused Nagesia first attacked a 25-year-old woman and her two-year-old child and axed them to death, subsequently killing his neighbours one after another," the police chief said.
"The accused seems to be mentally disturbed after his wife deserted him," he added, after Nagesia was taken into custody and the axe recovered.
Attacks on women have attracted more public attention in India since December, when a 23-year-old student was brutally attacked and raped by six men on a moving bus in the capital New Delhi.
She died two weeks later of her injuries.