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Three Dead After Police Storm Sydney Cafe, Ending Hostage Crisis

Three people are dead after police stormed the Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney's Martin Place, where Man Haron Monis allegedly held 17 hostages for hours. Monis died in a gunfight with police, authorities said.

What We Know So Far

  • Police stormed the Lindt chocolate cafe in central Sydney after 17 people were held hostage at gunpoint for almost 17 hours.
  • Three people died in the incident: the 50-year-old alleged gunman, Man Haron Monis; a 34-year-old man; and a 38-year-old woman.
  • Two pregnant women and one police officer were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
  • At least six hostages escaped from the cafe before police stormed in.
  • Police said the gunman, Man Haron Monis, has a long history with law enforcement authorities.
  • One hostage was an employee of Infosys in India.
  • Hostages were forced to stand in the windows and hold flags with messages reading "There is no God but Allah" and "Mohammed is the messenger of God."
  • Several nearby office buildings, including the U.S. and India consulates, were evacuated.

Updates

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New South Wales Police told BuzzFeed News that they have no record of a gun license for Monis.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a news conference Wednesday that Man Haron Monis had a gun license, but there have been some speculation whether this is accurate.

PM @TonyAbbottMHR's office is sticking by the assertion that the #sydneysiege gunman did have a gun licence, despite reports that is false.

Hugh Riminton@hughrimintonFollow

PM @TonyAbbottMHR's office is sticking by the assertion that the #sydneysiege gunman did have a gun licence, despite reports that is false.

7:50 PM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Australia's Prime Minister said in a press conference Wednesday that the gunman had been on the Security Intelligence Organization's watch list in 2008 and 2009, but then had been removed for unknown reasons.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the gunman, Man Haron Monis, had been on the watch list for a series of offensive letters he'd sent to the families of deceased military soldiers.

"I don't know why he dropped off the watch list in those days, I really don't," Abbott said.

Abbott also said that Monis had a long criminal record, including murder and sexual assault offenses, and was currently on bail. Despite this, he was receiving welfare payments and had a gun license.

During the news conference, Abbott announced that federal and New South Wales officials would be conducting a review of how Monis evaded authorities.

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott has admitted the gunman, Man Haron Monis, was not on the Australian Federal Police’s “terror watch list”.

Getty Images/Daniel Munoz

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott gives a press conference with New South Wales Premier Mike Baird at The Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices on Dec. 16, 2014, in Sydney, Australia.

Abbott held a Tuesday afternoon press conference conceding that despite the "terror alert level" being set to "High" and the gunman being on bail, Mon Haron Monis wasn't on the AFP's list.

Even though Monis was "well known" to authorities, Abbott said he didn't "believe he was on a terror watch list at this time."

"There was nothing consistent about this individual's life, except that he was consistently weird," he added.

But Abbott — flanked by state and federal policing authorities — insisted that even if Monis had been on such a list, he might not have been picked up by authorities before Monday.

"Even if this individual had been monitored 24 hours a day, it's quite likely, certainly possible, that this incident could have taken place," he said.

Discussing the siege, the prime minister said: "This has been an absolutely appalling and ugly incident, that's the only way to describe it. Our hearts go out to the families of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson. It's about as innocent a thing as anyone can do.

"To go and grab a morning coffee before the working day has truly started. Decent innocent people who got caught up in the sick fantasy of a deeply disturbed individual.

"The tragedy of these times is that there are people even in a society such as ours who wish to do us harm. We are not immune to the politically motivated violence which has for so long stalked other countries."

Abbott also played tribute to the New South Wales authorities' handling of the situation: "Everyone has been impressed by the speed of the NSW response, the thoroughness of the preparations they made and the professionalism of the action they took once it became obvious that people inside the cafe were being taken out by this deluded and sick individual.

"I think every Sydneysider can feel quietly proud of the way this city has handled one of the most difficult 36 hours in our history."

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird expressed anger that Monis had been granted bail: "We're all outraged that this was guy was on the street. I'm incredibly upset. I'm outraged!"

Premier Baird also announced he'd be willing to toughen bail laws pending a complete review and Prime Minister Abbott left the terror alert level set to "High".

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A heartbroken Muslim woman from Sydney named Adila shared her feelings on local ABC radio on Tuesday morning in a call that is being widely shared online.

w.soundcloud.com
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The family of Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson have released a statement to Ben Fordham of Channel 9 News.

Cafe manager Tori Johnson's family releases statement to @BenFordham: "We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori"

Mark Di Stefano@MarkDiStefFollow

Cafe manager Tori Johnson's family releases statement to @BenFordham: "We are so proud of our beautiful boy Tori"

12:20 PM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Breaking: Injured list released from @nswpolice... three women with gunshot wounds. Two pregnant women uninjured

Mark Di Stefano@MarkDiStefFollow

Breaking: Injured list released from @nswpolice... three women with gunshot wounds. Two pregnant women uninjured

11:16 AM - 16 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

NSW Police has released more information about those injured, including three women suffering gunshot wounds and two pregnant women who are now stable.

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Police in New York City say they have "deployed resources" to possible targets after the Sydney siege, including the Australian consulate and Lindt shops in Manhattan.

We are in close contact with officials in Australia and are constantly monitoring the situation. - Dep. Commish Miller

NYPD NEWS@NYPDnewsFollow

We are in close contact with officials in Australia and are constantly monitoring the situation. - Dep. Commish Miller

6:18 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

New York police officers will also be sent to Sydney to learn from the tragedy.

Dep. Commish of Intel & CT Miller speaking about the NYPD coverage due to recent attack in Sydney, Australia.

NYPD NEWS@NYPDnewsFollow

Dep. Commish of Intel & CT Miller speaking about the NYPD coverage due to recent attack in Sydney, Australia.

6:15 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Police Comnr Scipione laying flowers at Martin Place: "I'm close to tears myself" #SydneySiege @abc730 @abcnews

Sean R-Dunlop@seanrubinszteinFollow

Police Comnr Scipione laying flowers at Martin Place: "I'm close to tears myself" #SydneySiege @abc730 @abcnews

5:42 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The President of the NSW Bar Association Jane Needham has released a statement on the death of 38-year-old barrister Katrina Dawson.

It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that I must inform members of the New South Wales Bar Association that Katrina Dawson, of 8 Selborne Chambers, passed away in the early hours of this morning. Katrina, together with two other members of the NSW Bar, were held as hostages during the incident at the Lindt Café in Phillip Street, Sydney, yesterday.

Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends at the NSW Bar. She was a devoted mother of three children, and a valued member of her floor and of our bar community. Our thoughts are with her family at this time, including her brother, Sandy Dawson of Banco Chambers.

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As a mark of respect, flags on all Commonwealth buildings will fly at half-mast for victims of the #sydneysiege

Tony Abbott@TonyAbbottMHRFollow

As a mark of respect, flags on all Commonwealth buildings will fly at half-mast for victims of the #sydneysiege

6:00 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The two deceased hostages have been named as Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old lawyer, and Tori Johnson, the 34-year-old manager of the Lindt cafe.

#BREAKING: #Sydneysiege hostages killed confirmed as Lindt manager Tori Johnson aged 34 & lawyer Katrina Dawson 38

ABC News 24@ABCNews24Follow

#BREAKING: #Sydneysiege hostages killed confirmed as Lindt manager Tori Johnson aged 34 & lawyer Katrina Dawson 38

5:47 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge are at half mast.

Nick Wray@50ShadesOfWrayFollow

The flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge are at half mast.

4:48 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott told a press conference in Canberra "there are lessons to be learned" from the Sydney cafe siege, while offering words of condolence to the families of the two hostages killed.

"What we do know is that the perpetrator was well known to State and Commonwealth authorities," Abbott said of the suspected gunman Man Haron Monis. "He had a long history of violent crime, infatuation with extremism, and mental instability."

The Prime Minister praised NSW police for their actions during the lengthy siege. "Australians should be reassured by the way our law enforcement and security agencies responded to this brush with terrorism," Abbott said.

Abbott said he intended to travel to Sydney from Canberra later on Tuesday, but extended his sympathy to the loved ones of those killed.

"There is nothing more Australian than dropping in at the local cafe for a morning coffee and it's tragic beyond words that people going about their everyday business should have been caught up in such a horrific incident," he said.

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"He had an incredible passion to fight governments and rally against them for sending Australian soldiers to fight what he would call unjust wars where innocent women and children are being killed," Conditsis told the broadcaster.

"That is what his passion was about or at least that is how he expressed his passion," the lawyer said. "He always said to me that he loved Australia and he loved Australian people but he hated the Government for what they were doing."

When asked whether his former client should have been out on bail after being charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, Conditsis described the prosecution's case against Haron Monis as weak.

"With the benefit of reflection," Conditsis said, "one can say, 'Look what happened now, he should not have been at large.' Sure, that's an easy comment to make. But one has to be careful to look at the precise matters and facts that were put before the court at the point in time that bail was granted."

Conditsis said he was offended by "inappropriate" questions as to whether his "conscience was clear" for securing bail for Haron Monis.

Posted at

Australian newspapers and their front page headlines this morning #sydneysiege

Bridie Jabour@bkjabourFollow

Australian newspapers and their front page headlines this morning #sydneysiege

2:21 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released a statement on the grim end to the hostage drama.

Facebook: TonyAbbottMP
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Police activated an “emergency action plan” and stormed a besieged Sydney café in the middle of the night after “a number of gunshots” were fired in the store, the head of the New South Wales Police has said.

Two hostages, a 34-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman, were killed in the ensuing raid, as was the suspected 50-year-old gunman, who has been identified by police as Man Haron Monis.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told a press conference that teams of officers made the decision to enter the café with volley of flash grenades in order to save hostages.

"They made the call because they believed at that time if they didn't enter there would have been many more lives lost," Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said.

A number of hostages managed to flee the café before the police went in at 2:10 a.m. local time.

For the first time, police also released a figure for the total number of people who were taken hostage in the Lindt Chocolate Café in Martin Place on Monday morning.

"We have accounted for, at this stage, 17 hostages," Scipione said. "That includes the five that escaped yesterday and a number that have been caught up with, some with traumatic injuries, some with medical conditions."

Scipione said the police have launched a detailed investigation into what he termed "a critical incident."

A somber-looking Mike Baird, the premier of New South Wales, said Sydney will not be cowed by the “horrendous, vicious attack.”

"Unbelievably overnight, we have lost some of our own in an attack we never thought we would see here in our city," Baird said. "In the past 24 hours, this city has been shaken, by a tragedy that none of us could have ever imagined."

"The values we held dear yesterday we hold dear today," he said. "They are the values of freedom, democracy, and harmony. These defined us yesterday, they will define us today, they will define us tomorrow."

Posted at

Three people died, and four others were injured, as police stormed the Sydney cafe at 2:10 a.m. local time, NSW police have said.

The alleged gunman, Man Haron Monis, was among those killed during the shoot-out. He was pronounced dead after being taken to hostage, police said in a statement.

The two hostages killed were a 34-year-old male and a 38-year-old woman.

One woman was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to her shoulder, while two other women were being treated for "non-life threatening injuries." A male police officer also suffered a "non-life threatening wound to his face from gunshot pellets."

The police statement does not detail how many people in total had been inside the café throughout the course of the stand-off.

Here's the police press release. Three people died in the siege and four others injured #siege

Jackson Vernon@jacksonvernonFollow

Here's the police press release. Three people died in the siege and four others injured #siege

1:32 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Police confirm press conference with Premier and NSW Police Commissioner to be closer to 6.00am. #SydneySiege #9News

Nine News Sydney@9NewsSydFollow

Police confirm press conference with Premier and NSW Police Commissioner to be closer to 6.00am. #SydneySiege #9News

1:01 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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#BREAKING: NSW Police confirm gunman from #SydneySiege is dead

ABC News@abcnewsFollow

#BREAKING: NSW Police confirm gunman from #SydneySiege is dead

1:01 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Hostages are widely reported to have been taken to both Royal Prince Albert hospital and Royal North Shore hospital.

Police at #RPA hospital in #Sydney where it's believed hostages from the #SydenySiege have been brought. @ABCNews24

Rachel Pupazzoni@RachelPupazzoniFollow

Police at #RPA hospital in #Sydney where it's believed hostages from the #SydenySiege have been brought. @ABCNews24

12:24 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Roads still closed off at Martin Place, but Police presence has diminished significantly. #sydneysiege

Nick Dole@NicholasDoleFollow

Roads still closed off at Martin Place, but Police presence has diminished significantly. #sydneysiege

12:22 PM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

.#MartinPlace still locked down after police stormed Lindt cafe. #sydneysiege @amworldtodaypm

Brendan Trembath@BrendanTrembathFollow

.#MartinPlace still locked down after police stormed Lindt cafe. #sydneysiege @amworldtodaypm

11:22 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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SYDNEY (@AP) - Sydney hospital official says hostage receiving treatment for gunshot wound to the leg.

BuzzFeed News@BuzzFeedNewsFollow

SYDNEY (@AP) - Sydney hospital official says hostage receiving treatment for gunshot wound to the leg.

11:49 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Here is footage from a video journalist with The Guardian showing ambulance officers wheeling people away from the cafe on stretchers.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
Posted at

Paramedics can be seen resuscitating at least one person after raid on the Sydney Cafe (via @GettyImages)

Mark Di Stefano@MarkDiStefFollow

Paramedics can be seen resuscitating at least one person after raid on the Sydney Cafe (via @GettyImages)

11:02 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Sydney siege is over. More details to follow.

NSW Police@nswpoliceFollow

Sydney siege is over. More details to follow.

10:44 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Bomb squad robot entering cafe, looks like #SydneySiege may be over, lots of sirens and alarms

Simon Crerar@simoncrerarFollow

Bomb squad robot entering cafe, looks like #SydneySiege may be over, lots of sirens and alarms

10:35 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

#BREAKING NSW police have confirmed that the siege is over, but have not commented on injuries #sydneysiege http://t.co/o1zNiBFBgL

smh.com.au@smhFollow

#BREAKING NSW police have confirmed that the siege is over, but have not commented on injuries #sydneysiege http://t.co/o1zNiBFBgL

10:35 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Police confirm Lindt Cafe siege is over. Shots have been fired but police will not confirm any injuries or casualties http://t.co/2SVezP2AmG

Jake Saulwick@JakeSaulwickFollow

Police confirm Lindt Cafe siege is over. Shots have been fired but police will not confirm any injuries or casualties http://t.co/2SVezP2AmG

10:32 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Lots of bangs, hostages out, no sign of shooter #SydneySiege

Simon Crerar@simoncrerarFollow

Lots of bangs, hostages out, no sign of shooter #SydneySiege

10:26 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Live feed of the police's siege of the cafe:

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com
Posted at

UPDATE: Police have confirmed that live ammunition was used as heavily armed police stormed the café in #MartinPl. #SydneySiege #9News

Nine News Sydney@9NewsSydFollow

UPDATE: Police have confirmed that live ammunition was used as heavily armed police stormed the café in #MartinPl. #SydneySiege #9News

10:16 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

At least one more person has fled #sydneysiege. Followed loud bang and shouting.

Brendan Trembath@BrendanTrembathFollow

At least one more person has fled #sydneysiege. Followed loud bang and shouting.

10:09 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

A lawyer for Monis told the Australia Broadcasting Corporation that he was likely acting alone:

His former lawyer, Manny Conditsis, said Monis was an isolated figure who was acting alone.

"His ideology is just so strong and so powerful that it clouds his vision for common sense and objectiveness," he said.

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Man Haron Monis, 49, has been charged with being accessory to his ex-wife's murder. Has also sent abusive letters to dead soldiers parents.

Mark Di Stefano@MarkDiStefFollow

Man Haron Monis, 49, has been charged with being accessory to his ex-wife's murder. Has also sent abusive letters to dead soldiers parents.

9:04 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Police have identified the gunman:

.@nswpolice spokewoman said no barrier to identifying gunman. He is self-styled Sheikh Haron Monis

Mark Di Stefano@MarkDiStefFollow

.@nswpolice spokewoman said no barrier to identifying gunman.

He is self-styled Sheikh Haron Monis

8:58 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

At least 3 videos that appear to be Sydney hostages reading attacker's demands appear on social media #SydneySiege

BuzzFeed News@BuzzFeedNewsFollow

At least 3 videos that appear to be Sydney hostages reading attacker's demands appear on social media #SydneySiege

7:41 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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The attacker has turned out the lights in the cafe, Sky News reported.

Witnesses described seeing the hostages looking "exhausted" and "absolutely petrified" - but as night fell and the siege entered its 12th hour the gunman turned off the lights, meaning people outside could no longer see in.

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An updated map of the Sydney exclusion zone around the hostage site at Martin Pl. #sydneysiege http://t.co/aOuG4dmrHb

ABC News@abcnewsFollow

An updated map of the Sydney exclusion zone around the hostage site at Martin Pl. #sydneysiege http://t.co/aOuG4dmrHb

6:21 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Prominent members of Sydney's Muslim community have released a joint statement following the siege:

facebook.com

Some Australians are offering to travel with people wearing religious attire by using the hashtag #IllRideWithYou.

If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone: I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.

Sir Tessa@sirtessaFollow

If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone: I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.

5:28 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Over 6,500 #illridewithyou tweets already - currently 198 Tweets per minute - god love you Sydney

Trevor Long@trevorlongFollow

Over 6,500 #illridewithyou tweets already - currently 198 Tweets per minute - god love you Sydney

9:15 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I’m a semi regular commuter on the #mandurah line. If you see me #illridewithyou. I’ll be wearing this scarf.

Terri@KaelaJaelFollow

I’m a semi regular commuter on the #mandurah line. If you see me #illridewithyou. I’ll be wearing this scarf.

9:33 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione have held a joint news conference together. Scipione said:

Can I start by saying our plan, our only goal tonight and for as long as this takes, is to get those people that are currently caught in that building, out of there safely. That remains our number one priority and nothing will change.

NSW Police: “We are doing all we can to set you free”. Message to hostages #SydneySiege

BuzzFeed Australia@BuzzFeedOzFollow

NSW Police: “We are doing all we can to set you free”. Message to hostages #SydneySiege

9:31 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Mike Baird has asked people who work near Martin Place to work from home tomorrow:

Premier of New South Wales asks people based in offices near Lindt café to work from home tomorrow #sydneysiege

BBC Radio 5 live@bbc5liveFollow

Premier of New South Wales asks people based in offices near Lindt café to work from home tomorrow #sydneysiege

9:27 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Scipione refused to comment on reports that the lights had been turned off inside the Martin Place cafe.

NSW Police Commissioner is not commenting on reports that lights have been turned off in the Martin Place, Sydney, cafe. #SydneySiege

Aust News Network@AusNewsNetworkFollow

NSW Police Commissioner is not commenting on reports that lights have been turned off in the Martin Place, Sydney, cafe. #SydneySiege

9:26 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

He said no one appears to have been injured in the siege.

New South Wales Police Commissioner Scipione says no-one appears to have been injured in hostage crisis - live video http://t.co/N5mmnilz4Z

Breaking News@BreakingNewsFollow

New South Wales Police Commissioner Scipione says no-one appears to have been injured in hostage crisis - live video http://t.co/N5mmnilz4Z

9:27 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Scipione said that NSW Police are currently dealing with just one location in the crisis.

NSW Police: “We are only dealing with one location [in #MartinPlace]. We are not concerned about any other location. #SydneySiege

BuzzFeed Australia@BuzzFeedOzFollow

NSW Police: “We are only dealing with one location [in #MartinPlace]. We are not concerned about any other location. #SydneySiege

9:32 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

ABC News have reported that the police have identified the gunman. He is known to New South Wales Police, but they have asked media not to identify him.

Police have identified who the gunman is. He is known to police. NSW Police have asked the ABC not to identify him #sydneysiege #abc730

Julia Holman@JulesHolmanFollow

Police have identified who the gunman is. He is known to police. NSW Police have asked the ABC not to identify him #sydneysiege #abc730

8:38 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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In a press conference, New South Wales Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn said that the priority is for the siege to "end peacefully." She repeatedly refused to respond to "speculation" regarding the hostage-taker's demands.

NSW Police #SydneySiege update: “Our priority is for the siege to end peacefully."

BuzzFeed Australia@BuzzFeedOzFollow

NSW Police #SydneySiege update: “Our priority is for the siege to end peacefully."

7:38 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

NSW Police: "“We cannot engage in speculation, but we are monitoring all forms of communication” #SydneySiege

BuzzFeed Australia@BuzzFeedOzFollow

NSW Police: "“We cannot engage in speculation, but we are monitoring all forms of communication” #SydneySiege

7:40 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

NSW Police: “We have a large police response in place. We have this situation contained.” #SydneySiege

BuzzFeed Australia@BuzzFeedOzFollow

NSW Police: “We have a large police response in place. We have this situation contained.” #SydneySiege

7:44 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has just made a second statement on the siege, saying the situation is "profoundly shocking."

PM Tony Abbott has just provided an update on #SydneySiege. Here's the transcript:

Adam Todd@_AdamToddFollow

PM Tony Abbott has just provided an update on #SydneySiege. Here's the transcript:

7:12 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com / Via ABC News
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The New South Wales Police Force released a statement saying, "We are operating according to our Counter Terrorism protocols" in dealing with the hostage situation:

Latest update re: @nswpolice operation at #MartinPlace

NSW Police@nswpoliceFollow

Latest update re: @nswpolice operation at #MartinPlace

8:12 PM - 14 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Two women were seen leaving the cafe, meaning five people have now escaped the hostage situation.

An absolutely harrowing image of a woman, panic on her face, just running as hard as she could. Five now escaped. #sydneyseige

Let it Di Stefasnow@MarkDiStefFollow

An absolutely harrowing image of a woman, panic on her face, just running as hard as she could. Five now escaped. #sydneyseige

8:00 PM - 14 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at
vine.co

Incredible images coming out of Martin Place as three men escape hostage situation. More here: http://t.co/CgrA6ows1g

Susannah Guthrie@susguthrieFollow

Incredible images coming out of Martin Place as three men escape hostage situation. More here: http://t.co/CgrA6ows1g

12:13 AM - 15 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Posted at

Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn has now confirmed that three hostages have left the cafe.