Queensland state police responded to one of Australia’s largest mass killings today in the town of Manoora.

Less than a week after a hostage situation in Sydney jolted the nation and ended with the killing of the lone gunman and two of the hostages he took, the nation is once again forced into mourning.

Police officers arrived at the suburban home at around 11:20 a.m. and found the bodies of eight children about 18 months to 15 years, each are believed to have been stabbed. The police also encountered a seriously injured 34-year old woman who is believed to be the mother of seven of the eight children. She is being treated in a local hospital for stab wounds to the neck and chest.

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Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar told the Cairns Post that, “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. We don’t have any persons that are formally suspects at the moment. We’re speaking to a range of people. And we’re speaking to anybody that’s even had associations with this family in the last two to three days.”

A spokesman at the state police headquarters, who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the New York Times that specialists were being sent from Brisbane to assist in the investigation of the murders.

“Forensic teams are at the house, and it will then take investigators some days to work through the crime scene and determine the cause of death,” he said.

Police and PM statements

Superintendent Russell Miller said: “First of all I’d just ask that the community remain calm. Obviously it’s going to be a very complex investigation, it’s going to take time.”

He added: “There’s no indication whatsoever that it will be wider spread in the community. But there is some very unhelpful social media posts — for want of a better word, out there, that aren’t assisting and will obviously generate some unrest if they continue.”

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott released a statement calling the deaths “an unspeakable crime.”

While ValueWalk has no interest in speculation on this matter, at this time police are telling the community that they don’t believe there is “a suspect at large” and The Daily Mail is reporting neighbors hearing the screams of the mother the night before the tragedy.