8 Children Found Stabbed to Death in Australia – New York Times

December 19, 2014

SYDNEY, Australia — The state police in Queensland were investigating the discovery on Friday of eight dead children in a suburb of Cairns.

Officers were called around 11:20 a.m. to a house in Manoora, where they found the bodies of the children, whose ages ranged from about 18 months to 15 years, along with a seriously injured woman. She is believed to be the mother of the children and had been stabbed, The Associated Press reported.

“This is a tragic, tragic event,” Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar told reporters at the scene. He said the 34-year-old woman was hospitalized in stable condition and was helping the police with their investigation. She had not been charged.

A spokeswoman for the police said no further details were available.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the news as heartbreaking. “All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened,” he said in a statement. “These are trying days for our country.”

On Monday, an armed man held 17 hostages in a Sydney cafe. The man and two of his captives were killed.

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