Sydney Siege: What We Know, What We Don’t

 

 

 

 

 

” Australia has been rocked by a possible terrorist attack, with staff and customers taken hostage in a cafe in Sydney’s centre.

As rumour and speculation swirls around the incident, here’s a breakdown of what we know and what we don’t.

WHAT WE KNOW

● An unknown number of hostages are being held by an armed man in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Martin Place

● Police were alerted to the incident about 9.45am when a woman saw a man outside the cafe with a blue sports bag that appeared to contain a gun

● Five hostages have escaped the cafe, three of whom appeared to be Lindt employees. One male hostage has been treated at St Vincent’s Hospital. A spokesman would not comment on his condition but said “he is fine”

● NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said tonight officers were focused only on Martin Place: “We’re not concerned at this stage with any other (location)”

● The hostages held a flag up to the window known as The Black Standard, which has been used as a symbol by Islamic extremists

● At least one gunman is involved, a bearded man wearing a headband

● The police have made direct contact with the hostage-taker. Police have asked news.com.au not to reveal details of the phone calls they have had with him

● Police said workers outside of the exclusion zone bordered by Hunter, Pitt, King and Elizabeth streets in the Sydney CBD were OK to travel home via public transport as usual. Martin Place railway station remains closed

● Nobody is believed to have been harmed

● Police have erected a large black shield to cover the corner of the Lindt store from view; at least 100 police and tactical units are stationed in Martin Place

● Airspace in Sydney is open but some flights are being diverted around the CBD, according to Qantas

● Police handcuffed a man 200m from the cafe siege but a police statement has since clarified the arrest was not related to the siege. “

 

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