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Four ANU Students Injured In 'Random' Classroom Attack

A man in custody after alleged baseball bat attack in Canberra.

25/08/2017 11:40 AM AEST | Updated 25/08/2017 12:55 PM AEST
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A man has been arrested after allegedly assaulting four classmates with a baseball bat a Canberra university, in what is being called a "random" attack.

ACT Police said they had one man in custody after the alleged incident on Friday morning at the Australian National University. A female lecturer and several students were among the injured, who suffered "broken bones" including a broken arm, according to Detective Superintendent Ben Cartwright. The suspect, allegedly armed with a baseball bat, is said to be an 18-year-old Caucasian student of the university.

Cartwright said students had suffered "defensive injuries", as those in the classroom wrestled the bat from the offender in an attempt to protect their lecturer.

"ACT Policing is responding to an incident at the Australian National University, where a male is reported to have assaulted a number of people. One male has been taken into custody and enquiries are ongoing," police said in a statement on Friday morning.

"There is no ongoing threat to public safety."

Photos on social media claimed to show several police and ambulance vehicles in attendance at the campus.

The alleged attack occurred inside a classroom, where a statistics lesson was taking place.

"At around 9:15am this morning, a student entered an ANU classroom and assaulted four other students. The University's first priority is the welfare of our staff and students, counselling services are being provided to all those affected," an ANU spokesman said.

"ACT Police were called and attended the scene where one person was detained."

ANU's student newspaper Woroni reported the attack had occurred inside the Copland building.

ANU's Deputy Vice Chancelor, Professor Marni Hughes-Warrington, commended students who intervened in the attack.

"This is an isolated and random incident that has happened in a very caring community," she told a press conference.

"The most important thing at this time is providing counselling and support to the students and staff who have been affected."

Anyone who witnessed the incident is urged to contact police on 131 444.

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