SYDNEY: Eight children have been killed and a woman injured, police said on Friday, during what several media outlets reported was a mass stabbing in Australia’stropical northern city of Cairns.
Australia is already in a state of heightened alert after police stormed a Sydney cafe early on Tuesday morning to end a 16-hour hostage standoff in which three people were killed,including the hostage-taker.
Queensland state police said in a statement they were called to a house in the Cairns suburb of Manoora just before midday after reports of a woman with serious injuries on the premises.
They found the bodies of the children, aged between 18 months and 15 years, when they were examining the location.It was not immediately clear whether the children were from one family, what their relationship was to the injured woman, or whether the woman was involved in their deaths, police said.
The woman, aged 34, is receiving treatment for her injuries,police said, and is assisting them with their investigation.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the events in Cairns “heartbreaking” and acknowledged that these were “trying
days” for Australia.
Specialist officers were being sent from Brisbane, the state capital, to assist with the investigation, Asnicar said. He stressed that information was still sparse and that the numberof dead could rise or fall.