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Li Jishun lured the children on the pretext of tutoring them.Reuters

A paedophile schoolteacher has been executed by the Chinese High Court after being found guilty of sexually abusing 26 young girls in a year.

Li Jishun, a primary school teacher in a small village in Gansu Province, northwest China, abused children aged between four and 11, between 2011 and June 2012 the People's Daily Online reports.

Li, who is around 60 years old, lured the young girls into the classroom, his dormitory and a nearby forest surrounding the village near Wushan town, using tutoring as pretext or by giving them gifts and pocket money. He raped 21 of his victims and molested five others. Some of his victims had been raped or abused more than once.

According to a statement by the Supreme People's Court he deliberately preyed on children who were "young and timid."

Most of the victims are the children of migrant workers, who had been left in their home town while their parents moved to larger Chinese cities to seek job opportunities.

The court did not reveal how his heinous crimes were discovered, but it said that he was without doubt "a grave threat to society."

"The Supreme People's Court thus believes that it was appropriate for Li Jishun to be executed," it said.

His sentencing and execution have received widespread support fom the Chinese public who were vocal in expressing their support for the imposed penalty on social media.

Commentators on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, said that even the death penalty was too lenient for such a prolific paedophile.

User Zhu Kaka said "such animals should be cut in pieces in order to kill him".

Another Weibo user, Bravia-Chic, said, "children do not have no sense of danger, they should be taught as soon as they could communicate that nobody has the right to touch your private parts or take your pants off, unless there is parental consent."

"Four years old? I can't believe it," said a social media user. "A death sentence is too good for this man," wrote another.

It was revealed that four other convicted rapists have received sentences from three-months detention to the death penalty.

In a rare disclosure of abuse statistics, the Supreme People's Court told local media that the courts heard 7,145 cases of child sexual abuse between 2012 and 2014.

The figures showed that the number of cases went up by about 40% during those years.