Beijing - A woman has been detained by police in central China after being accused of hacking off the ears of her 6-year-old nephew with a fruit knife, state media reported on Saturday.

Zhang Qihui, 35, allegedly led the boy out of her house into an alleyway, where she severed both his ears and wounded his chin in the village of Wanghe, near the city of Xiangyang, in Hubei province.

The boy was taken to hospital where one ear was reconnected. He is now in a stable condition and has been discharged from the hospital.

According to the Beijing Times, the violence took place on January 28, during a Chinese lunar New Year festival family gathering.

It followed a long-simmering feud over the construction and orientation of a shared house.

Another horrific episode of violence against children took place in August in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi, when a Chinese woman gouged out the eyes of her 6-year-old nephew.

Sapa-dpa