6 dead from 2 families in UK attack

2011-08-15 15:00
People talk to a British armed policeman attending the scene after six people were killed in a knife attack in St Helier, Jersey, England. (Ian Le Sueur, PA, AP)

People talk to a British armed policeman attending the scene after six people were killed in a knife attack in St Helier, Jersey, England. (Ian Le Sueur, PA, AP)

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London - The normally peaceful Channel Island of Jersey was in shock on Monday after six people, including members of a Polish family, were stabbed to death, the island's top politician said.

A man, two women and three children under the age of six were killed on Sunday at a flat in the island's capital, St Helier.

Jersey's Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, said: "Jersey is a very safe place and events of this terrible nature are very rare. This has greatly shocked the island's community.

"Many will need support and counselling in the days ahead and we will ensure this is provided."

Reports in Poland said all the victims were Polish, but Detective Superintendent Stewart Gull of the States of Jersey Police would only confirm that the victims were from two local families, one of Polish origin.

He told a news conference police had arrested a 30-year-old man who remains under guard at Jersey Hospital after undergoing an operation for knife wounds. The suspect is part of the Polish family.

Motive unclear

Gull said: "Six people, including three young children, two women and one man, died in the incident.

"Police are working closely with leaders from both the local St Helier and Polish communities to support the investigation and local people affected by the tragic incident."

The motive was not clear and it would be "pure speculation" to try to guess at this time, Gull added.

Jersey lies around 22km off the coast of northern France and is home to around 90 000 people.

Its economy used to be predominantly agriculture-based, but the 116km² island has become a major offshore financial services hub in recent years.

The Bailiwick of Jersey is not a part of the United Kingdom but a British crown dependency with its own parliament and powers to set its own laws.

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