- The Washington Times - Friday, December 19, 2014

Australian authorities responded to a home in Cairns, a northern suburb of Manoor, on Friday to find eight children dead, all from stab wounds.

The children were from ages 18 months to 15 years, The Guardian reported.

A woman, 34, was also stabbed, but she is in stable condition at a nearby hospital.

Law enforcement officials are nearly certain the woman is the mother of seven of the children, The Associated Press reported.

The eighth child is believed to be one of her family members, Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said in the AP report.

Meanwhile, Lisa Thaiday, who identified herself as the woman’s cousin, said all the children belonged to the woman and that another sibling, a 20-year-old man, actually came home to find his brothers and sisters dead, Fox News reported.

Queensland police said they were called to the home by a complaint of a woman with serious injuries.

Fox News reported the children were all stabbed to death; other media reported authorities declined to say how the youngsters died.

“These events are extremely distressing for everyone, of course, and police officers aren’t immune to that — we’re human beings as well,” Mr. Ansicar said, Fox News reported. “But the police we have here are very highly trained and professional. I’m very happy with the response.”

Prime Minister Tony Abbott weighed in on the tragedy as well, saying “the news out of Cairns is heartbreaking” and calling the incident “an unspeakable crime,” AP reported.

“These are trying days for our country,” he said, Fox News reported.

No news has been released on the suspect or suspects, or the motive.

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