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Two men stabbed at Scientology center in Australia, 16-year-old arrested

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Two men stabbed at Scientology center in Australia, 16-year-old arrested
New South Wales police stand guard at the scene of a double stabbing at the Church of Scientology headquarters in Chatswood, Sydney Thursday. Photo by Mick Tsikas/EPA-EFE

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- One man died and another was injured Thursday after being attacked with a kitchen knife at a Scientology center in Sydney.

Police arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection with the stabbings after what they called a "domestic incident." The teenager had lawful reasons to be at the Scientology complex but was asked to leave. He was being escorted out when he lashed out.

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"With that knife he stabbed who we believe to be a 24-year-old Taiwanese male in the neck and he also caused some lacerations to an older gentlemen also escorting him from the premises," New South Wales Police detective superintendent Simon Jones said. "It would appear that the altercation or the reason the young person had been removed from the premises was only and solely due to a domestic incident that occurred yesterday."

Both victims were members of the Scientology center. The 24-year-old was taken to the hospital where he died. The second man was treated for a minor injury.

"The victim was a beloved member of our church," Scientology spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald. "The church is providing the police with any assistance needed in their investigation."

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The Chatwood center is the Asia-Pacific headquarters of Scientology and is the largest complex outside the United States. The 145,000-square-foot facility offers "unbridled expansion of spiritual progress for Scientologists across Australia, New Zealand and Asia," according to its website. Scientology is considered a religion in Australia, which grants it a tax exemption.

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