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Mother Arrested For Stabbing Death Of Her Children In Cairns

Queensland Police said a 37-year-old woman killed eight children.

Posted on

Updated — 8:34 a.m. AEST (4:34 p.m. Friday ET)

Police arrested a 37-year-old woman on Saturday morning for the stabbing deaths of eight children in Cairns, Far North Queensland.

Murray Street in Manoora #Cairns blocked off. Police say 8 people including children killed @abcnews @ABCFarNorth

Sharnie Kim@sharniekimFollow

Murray Street in Manoora #Cairns blocked off. Police say 8 people including children killed @abcnews @ABCFarNorth

9:48 PM - 18 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Police were called to a home on Murray Street on Friday at 11:20 a.m. local time following reports of a woman with serious injuries.

During an examination of the residence police discovered the bodies of eight children, between the ages of 18 months and 15 years. The woman arrested is the mother of many of the dead children. She is under police guard at the Cairns Base Hospital, police said.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported seven of the children were siblings and the eighth child is a niece of the woman arrested.

A Mobile Police Facility was established, and officers from the Cairns Criminal Investigation Branch, Child Protection and Investigation Unit, Scenes of Crime and Scientific section are conducting an investigation and examination of the scene.

Police said they found "a number of weapons" which helped determine the arrest.

'We have located a number of weapons' says D/Insp Bruno Asnicar. Our scientists will examine those as part of the investigation. #Manoora

QPS Media Unit@QPSmediaFollow

'We have located a number of weapons' says D/Insp Bruno Asnicar. Our scientists will examine those as part of the investigation. #Manoora

4:10 PM - 19 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The family has not been named, but neighbours have spoken to reporters from local paper the Cairns Post.

The Cairns Post reporter Scott Forbes: "The family was very kind, a very humble family. The kids were well behaved." http://t.co/QbmPP0R50V

The Cairns Post@CairnsNewsFollow

The Cairns Post reporter Scott Forbes: "The family was very kind, a very humble family. The kids were well behaved." http://t.co/QbmPP0R50V

5:46 AM - 19 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Scenes of terrible grief in #cairns after 8 children found dead in house. @abcnews @ABCFarNorth

Sharnie Kim@sharniekimFollow

Scenes of terrible grief in #cairns after 8 children found dead in house. @abcnews @ABCFarNorth

2:20 PM - 19 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Prime minister Tony Abbott released this statement regarding the tragedy in Cairns:

"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.

"Tonight, there will be tears and prayers across our country for these children. My thoughts are with the Queensland police and all who have to respond to this terrible situation."

Cairns Regional Council mayor Bob Manning issued the following statement:

"I was saddened to hear that so many young lives have today been taken away from us. This is a truly tragic event. The Cairns community is in shock.

"I offer my personal condolences to the family and friends of the victims. I ask the people of Cairns to unite and display sympathy for those directly affected by this incident and respect for the police and other authorities who now must go about this difficult work."

Opposition leader Bill Shorten issued the following statement via Twitter.

Today’s tragedy in Cairns comes at the end of one of the toughest weeks for our nation. There's no greater evil than the killing of children

Bill Shorten@billshortenmpFollow

Today’s tragedy in Cairns comes at the end of one of the toughest weeks for our nation. There's no greater evil than the killing of children

5:31 PM - 19 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Cairns residents held a vigil for the family on Friday.

VIGIL: #Cairns City Church will hold a vigil for the victims of the tragedy tonight at 7.30pm #CairnsTragedy

The Cairns Post@CairnsNewsFollow

VIGIL: #Cairns City Church will hold a vigil for the victims of the tragedy tonight at 7.30pm #CairnsTragedy

1:45 AM - 19 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The Associated Press spoke with some of the family's neighbors about the incident on Friday.

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Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

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Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

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Simon Crerar is editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Simon Crerar at simon.crerar@buzzfeed.com.

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