The Citizen (KZN)

Teen held for church stabbing


– A knife attack at a live-streamed church service in Australia wounded four people yesterday and sparked clashes between riot police and outraged members of the local community.

A bishop and the 15-yearold suspect were among those being treated for “non-life threatenin­g injuries” after the attack at an Assyrian Christian church in the west of Sydney.

Police said the suspect is being held at an undisclose­d location after his alleged attack provoked communal violence that also left two officers hospitalis­ed.

The incident came two days after a man with a knife killed six people at a shopping mall in the city’s east before being shot dead by police.

Police said they had arrested the teen, after a member of the congregati­on at an Assyrian church rushed at the dais and slashed at the bishop, causing pandemoniu­m.

Amid the panic and screams, several churchgoer­s rushed to safety while others tried to subdue the attacker.

The ambulance service said four men aged between 20 and 70 were being treated for injuries, including laceration­s.

“The injured individual­s suffered non-life threatenin­g injuries and were treated by New South Wales Ambulance paramedics before being conveyed to hospital,” police added. “A male was arrested and remains in police custody.”

The incident came two days after a man with a knife killed six at a shopping mall in the east of Sydney.

AFP verified video of yesterday’s attack as being taken at the Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Sydney’s western suburb of Wakeley. The neighbourh­ood is a hub for Sydney’s small Christian Assyrian community, many of whom fled persecutio­n and war in Iraq and Syria.

There were tense scenes outside the church after the attack, with hundreds of members of the local community trying to make their way past a phalanx of riot police to reach the suspect.

An AFP journalist at the scene saw projectile­s being hurled, before police with riot shields pushed the protesters away from the church. “He has been taken to an undisclose­d location,” police said. –

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