UPDATE: Sydney siege death toll was three

Sydney hostage escaped into arms of police

TWO hostages and a gunman died when police stormed a Sydney cafe to end a dramatic siege.

Police and special forces stormed the cafe where a gunman had being keeping 17 people hostage. Reports state that a volley of loud bangs and flashes were heard before paramedics then rushed into the building to attend to any wounded.

Several people appeared to have been wounded, with it soon being confirmed two hostages had died along with the gunman. It’s being reported that the gunman was an Iranian refugee, Man Haron Monis, aged 49.

On Monday (December 15) a man wearing a backpack and a bandana had entered the Lindt Chocolate Cafe at Sydney’s busy Martin Place and took staff and customers hostage. Hostages were seen to hold up a black flag with Arabic writing, stating: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God”, as police and tactical units gathered outside and surrounded the cafe.

Central Sydney was earlier evacuated and the area was put on lockdown while negotiators tried to bring an end to the siege.

Five people had earlier fled the cafe and were seen running into the arms of waiting officers, though it is not yet known if they escaped or were released. After armed police stormed the cafe, loud bangs were heard and several hostages escaped the cafe with their hands in the air, after which it is reported that there was heavy gunfire.  

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