Australia child deaths: Thousands at Cairns funerals

Memorials to the Cairns children near the crime scene Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Memorials to the children sprung up near the crime scene

Thousands of people have been attending the funerals of eight Australian children found dead in the north-eastern city of Cairns last month.

The service is called Keriba Omasker, which means "our children" in the ancestral language of the children.

Attending is Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who tweeted: "Today in Cairns. Sad beyond words. Keriba Omasker."

The mother of seven of the children has been charged with their murders. The other victim was her niece.

The four boys and four girls were aged between 18 months and 14 years.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Thousands of people attended the memorial at Cairns Convention Centre
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Hearses carrying the coffins of the eight children leave the memorial service at the Convention Centre
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The home where the murders took place is likely to be demolished

Almost 5,000 people heard prayers and tributes to the children at a memorial service.

Mr Abbott and other Australian political leaders laid wreaths.

Hearses are taking the children's bodies to Martyn Place Cemetery, where they will be laid to rest.

The mother, Mersane Warria, 37, is being treated in hospital. She is not reported to be attending the funeral.

There are plans to demolish the house where the children died, to be replaced with a public memorial.

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