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Published On: Mon, Dec 15th, 2014

Sydney: Five hostages free as Islamic terrorists still hold cafe

Five hostages (staff and customers) have escaped the terrorist siege in central Sydney where at least one armed gunman took ‘fewer than 30’ people hostage. The Martin Place cafe remains surrounded by heavily armed police.

Some inside the cafe were apparently forced to stand at the cafe’s windows holding up a flag bearing the Islamic markings, possibly a link to the Islamic State movement.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau linked to ISIS?  photo/Islamic State flag

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau linked to ISIS? photo/Islamic State flag

Tensions remain high as the Monday morning attack on the Lindt cafe is still ongoing, with an unknown number of hostages still inside. Two women, both Lindt employees, were seen fleeing the building and sprinting towards a group of waiting police.

“The information I have is that nobody has been harmed or injured at this moment,” New South Wales deputy police commissioner Catherine Burnsaid.

She confirmed that there was “at least one” offender involved and that police negotiators had made contact with the man.

A gunman carrying a blue sports bag reportedly entered the cafe about 9.45am on Monday and a hostage situation quickly developed, with heavily armed police surrounding the cafe and closing off the streets of the central area of Australia’s biggest city.

Police evacuated offices in the immediate vicinity of the cafe and directed workers in nearby buildings to remain indoors and away from open windows. Staff and tourists around Sydney Opera House were also reported to have been evacuated after a suspicious package was spotted. Helicopters were seen hovering above the tourist attraction throughout the day.

The black flag in the window of the cafe appeared to bear the Shahada, an Islamic affirmation of the oneness of God, reading: “There is no god but the God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

The creed is common in the Islamic world and appears on the Saudi Arabian flag, but has been embraced by Islamist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Hizb ut-Tahrir.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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