Eight children have been found stabbed to death in a house in Cairns, Australia.
Point of view
All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime
A 37-year-old woman, believed to be the mother of seven of the children, has been taken to hospital suffering from stab wounds. Her condition is stable and police said she was assisting them with their investigation.
The children, aged between 18 months and 15 years, are thought to be from the same family.
Police have so far made no arrests.
The community in the suburb of Manoora in northern Queensland has been rocked by events.
“I’m really shocked, I just saw her this morning on the rundown with the kids,” said one neighbour.
Authorities are keen to point out that the incident is in no way related to the siege in Sydney and the crime scene is secure.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described events as “heartbreaking” and added that these were “trying days” for Australia.
“All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime. Tonight, there will be tears and prayers across our country for these children,” he said in a media release.
Queensland police say they were called to the address just before midday, local time, after reports that a woman had been wounded, officers then discovered the bodies of the children.
Media outlets reported that the neighbourhood was predominantly inhabited by indigenous Aboriginal Australians, and was known by residents to have a high crime rate.