Sydney rocked by second stabbing in days as bishop and worshippers targeted at church

Four people, including a bishop, have reportedly been attacked inside a church in Sydney in the second stabbing incident to hit the Australian city in a matter of days.

The incident happened at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley at around 7.15pm local time (9.15am GMT).

Footage from the incident, broadcast live on the church’s YouTube page, appeared to show the church leader attacked by a man approaching the altar before worshippers rushed forward to come to his aid.

Three others were also hurt in the attack.

New South Wales Police said officers had arrested a man after being called to a report of a number of people stabbed at the church. Pictures of the church show a large emergency service presence outside.

It comes just days after a stabbing rampage at Westfield Bondi Junction shopping centre in Sydney, killing six people. The attacker – 40-year-old Joe Cauchi – was later shot dead by a police officer.

A spokesperson for New South Wales Police said: “A police operation is underway in Wakeley, following reports of a stabbing.

“Officers attached to Fairfield City Police Area Command attended a location on Welcome Street, Wakeley following reports a number of people were stabbed. Officers arrested a male and he is assisting police with inquiries.

“The injured people suffered non-life threatening injuries and are being treated by New South Wales Ambulance paramedics. The community is urged to avoid the area.”

A man in his 50s was taken to Liverpool Hospital. None of the victims are said to have suffered life-threatening injuries.

The service was being broadcast live on the church’s YouTube channel. According to Sky News, one person watching wrote: “I was watching the live stream, a young male attacked him, potentially with a weapon was hard to tell but was fast and numerous blows.

“The church stepped in and then the live stream cut out and was removed.”

Following the arrival of emergency services at the church, there was reportedly a physical confrontation inside a crowd of people outside.

Local mayor Frank Carbone called for calm. He told Sky News: “Police will do their job and please let’s not make the police’s job any harder. We live in difficult times right now… so I can understand frustration and the anger from the communities but I ask them as the mayor just to please be calm.”

The attack was around 20 miles from the shopping centre where Cauchi went on a stabbing spree on Saturday. As the country takes part in a day of mourning for the victims, the killer’s parents said on Monday they were “extremely sorry”.

It has also emerged that the lone knifeman led a secret life as a male escort with police also investigating if he internationally targeted women.

Four women and one man were killed in the shopping centre, and another woman died in hospital. A dozen people, including a nine-month old baby, were also injured.

This is a breaking news story – more to follow

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