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Australian police say woman stabbed in downtown Sydney attack

Key Points
  • A woman was taken to hospital after she was stabbed in downtown Sydney in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack by a man who has been taken into custody, police said.
  • The unidentified man had also tried unsuccessfully to stab other people, police said, in an incident that brought the central business district in Australia's largest city to a standstill in the early afternoon.

Police gather at the crime scene after a man stabbed a woman and attempted to stab others in central Sydney on August 13, 2019.
Saeed Khan | AFP | Getty Images

A woman was taken to hospital after she was stabbed in downtown Sydney in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack by a man who has been taken into custody, police said.

The unidentified man had also tried unsuccessfully to stab other people, police said, in an incident that brought the central business district in Australia's largest city to a standstill in the early afternoon.

"We have a female person with a stab wound to the back currently being treated by paramedics and is en route to a Sydney hospital," Police Superintendent Gavin Wood told reporters in Sydney.

He said the woman's injuries were not life-threatening. 

Wood also said the attack appeared to be unprovoked but police were keeping an open mind.

Video footage on Twitter showed a young man running across a city intersection and jumping onto the hood of a car, waving what appeared to be a knife.

The man fell to the ground when the car moved and was confronted by a person holding a chair, the video showed.

Other footage showed the man pinned to the ground by several people holding two chairs and a milk crate on top of him.

A woman who answered the phone at a Subway store near the scene told Reuters: "We saw the person with a knife over there bleeding."

"The cops are here and they blocked the road right now, so we can't go outside. They said: 'It's a crime scene, you can't come out'," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

Police said the man was acting alone.