Cairns, Australia — Mass Stabbing Leaves Eight Children Dead, Police Searching For Motive In Deaths of Siblings

Eight children are dead and a woman is suffering from severe stab wounds in Cairns, Australia, after a mass stabbing that police do not yet understand. The woman and the eight children were found inside a home in northern Australia on Friday.

ABC 7 reported that state police of Queensland were called to the home Manoora, a suburb of Cairns, on the morning of Friday, December 19. A report had come in that a woman was suffering from serious injuries.

Upon entering the home, the police found the woman bleeding and with multiple stab wounds. Also in the Cairns home, the bodies of eight children were found, with the victims ranging in age from as young as 18 months to as old as 15 years.

Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said there was not a lot of information known at the time, but that the woman was receiving treatment for her wounds at a local hospital and was in stable condition.

“As it stands at the moment, there’s no need for the public to be concerned about this other than the fact that it’s a tragic, tragic event. The situation is well controlled at the moment. There shouldn’t be any concern for anyone else out of this environment.”

Neighbors and police said they did not know the relationship of the children to the woman in the Cairns home.

One woman named Lisa Thaiday did come forward and said she is the cousin of the yet unnamed woman in the mass stabbing. Thaiday said that all of the children were siblings and the woman was their mother. She also said that a 20-year-old male, another sibling, is the person that came home and found his brothers and sisters dead.

“I’m going to see him now, he needs comforting. We’re a big family… I just can’t believe it. We just found out [about] those poor babies.”

Police have said that the woman in the home is a “38-year-old woman,” but there is nothing more known about her at this time.

Detectives have also said there is “no need for the public to be concerned about this other than the fact that it’s just a tragic, tragic event.”

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The Guardian reports that the Prime Minister Tony Abbott has simply said that the deaths of the eight children are “gut wrenching” and that this was “an unspeakable crime.”

“The news out of Cairns is heartbreaking. All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime. These are trying days for our country.”

Australia is still reeling from the Sydney siege that happened just days ago. In that incident, customers in a cafe were held hostage by a gunman. Two hostages ended up being killed, as was the gunman, after police raided the cafe 16 hours after it began.

The street in Cairns, Australia, has been completely shut off to be treated as a crime scene after the mass stabbing. It’s going to remain that way for at least one more day as police continue their investigation and look for a suspect and a motive.

[Image via Cleo Fraser — AAP]