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Australian woman arrested for murder of 8 children

Emergency services workers cover off the perimeter fence of a house where eight children were found dead in a Cairns suburb in far north Queensland, Australia. Photo: AP   | Photo Credit: Graeme Bint

An Australian woman was arrested for the killing of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said on Saturday. The children, aged 18 months to 15 years, were found dead inside the woman’s home.

The 37—year—old woman, who is recovering in a hospital from stab wounds, was under guard and speaking with police, Queensland Police Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said. She has not yet been charged.

There has been no additional information on the deaths. However, Mr. Asnicar said they’re examining several knives in the home that may have been the murder weapon.

Queensland police were called to the home in the Cairns suburb of Manoora on Friday morning after receiving a report of a woman with serious injuries. When they got to the house, they found the bodies of the children.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was also found in the home with the children, suffering from stab wounds to the chest.

“We’re not looking for anybody else. We’re comfortable that the community at large is safe,” Mr. Asnicar said.

“It’s not a problem house as has been speculated,” he said. “This is an ordinary neighbourhood with a lot of good people, a lot of kids in the area. This is something that has caught everybody by surprise. It’s just an absolutely tragic thing.”

Lisa Thaiday, who said she was the injured woman’s cousin, said earlier that one of the woman’s other sons, a 20-year-old, came home and found his brothers and sisters dead inside the house.

“I’m going to see him now, he needs comforting,” Ms. Thaiday said. “We’re a big family ... I just can’t believe it. We just found out (about) those poor babies.”

The tragedy comes as Australia is still reeling from the shock of a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe. On Monday, a gunman burst into the cafe in the heart of the city and took 18 hostages. Two hostages were dead along with the gunman after police stormed in 16 hours later in a bid to end the siege.

“The news out of Cairns is heartbreaking,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement. “All parents would feel a gut—wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime. These are trying days for our country.”

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 6:41:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/australian-woman-arrested-for-murder-of-8-children/article6710831.ece

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