A man who walked into a school in the northern Guatemalan village of Tactic and murdered two children was killed by teachers and area residents, media outlets said Wednesday.

"The children died with their throats slit, while the alleged aggressor died of a lynching after being beaten by the mob and burned alive," fire rescue spokesman Sergio Vasquez told reporters.

Witnesses said that Julio Saquil, 40, entered the school without saying a word and attacked two students with a machete.

Authorities identified the slain students as Evelyn Yanisa Saquij Bin, 8, and Juan Armando Coy Cal, 13.

An intended third victim managed to flee and alert teachers and Tactic residents, who rushed in, seized the aggressor and killed him, Vasquez said.

"The body of Saquil was found inside one of the classrooms, where he was beaten and burned by the mob," the spokesman said.

Saquil was known to his neighbors in the community some 190 kilometers (118 miles) north of Guatemala City, but police could offer no information about a motive for the double-murder at the school.

"I believe he was a gang member and that he had already been in prison," the father of one of the victims told a radio station.

Saquil lived "in the same neighborhood where we live" and had not made any prior threats, the grieving father said.

Guatemala has seen around 180 lynchings in 2012, resulting in 11 deaths, according to figures kept by the national ombud's office.

Vigilante justice as a widespread phenomenon in Guatemala dates from the 1996 signing of peace accords that ended the country's 36-year civil war.

The absence of police in isolated communities and pervasive distrust of the judicial system are the main reasons for the rising number of lynchings in the Central American nation, analysts say.

EFE