There is an ongoing hostage situation at a café in Sydney, Australia, and it may be the work of terrorists.
Hundreds of Australian police have cordoned off a significant portion of Martin Place, a pedestrian mall located in the city’s main business area.
The situation is developing at the Lindt Café. There is at least one gunman, and varying reports surrounding the number of hostages being held.
Some claim there are at least a dozen hostages.
Other reports contend that a Lindt Australia executive has stated there were about 10 staff members working at the café and around 30 customers.
At one point, several of the hostages were forced to press their hands against the window.
A black Islamic flag was also raised in the café’s window. It is not the flag of ISIS, as some initially believed, but jihadi groups commonly use it as a battle banner.
Australia’s prime minister has said this might be politically motivated.
We will provide updates as they come in.
Hostages still holding hands up at windows @ Sydney Lindt cafe in Martin Place holding flag. Via @morningshowon7 pic.twitter.com/zCf2Jiztt9 — Shoba Rao (@shoba_rao) December 14, 2014
MORE: SWAT teams surround hostage capture site, #Sydney #OperaHouse evacuated http://t.co/1ZlzKDjvSf pic.twitter.com/8MdsuZGkJU — RT (@RT_com) December 15, 2014
Sydney gunman caught on camera, a middle-aged man wearing Islamic lettering bandana http://t.co/1ZlzKDjvSf pic.twitter.com/KGfGGRBMxl — RT (@RT_com) December 15, 2014
Man Haron Monis, Iranian refugee, identified as hostage taker in Sydney http://t.co/0Cg8NvppaZ — The WorldPost (@TheWorldPost) December 15, 2014
BREAKING: Dramatic scenes as hostages flee cafe amid gunfire and explosions #SydneySiege pic.twitter.com/fTB7df2ML4 http://t.co/Ddq9CzEVOC — HuffPost UK (@HuffPostUK) December 15, 2014
The #SydneySiege is over with 2 people reported dead and 3 in serious condition: http://t.co/QL7EF5DztK pic.twitter.com/XNlMl9Knji — CNN (@CNN) December 15, 2014
Sydney hostage taker among two people killed after cafe siege ends in gunfire: Sky News — Reuters Top News (@Reuters) December 15, 2014