Terror as extremists hold Lindt café customers hostage: live updates

Over a dozen people are being held hostage in a cafe in central Sydney, Australia, after extremists gained control of the premises.

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by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

While most of the U.K. slept, men who are believed to be Islamist extremists locked up to 30 customers and workers inside the Lindt cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place.

Several hostages left the cafe at around 4PM Australian time

A flag which reads: ‘There is no God but Allah’ and ‘Mohammed is the messenger of God’ was waved behind hostages in the cafe.

The ordeal began at 9.40am in the Australian city, and is still ongoing, with police in negotiation with the hostage takers.

At 4PM Australian time, five hostages left the cafe - though police have not confirmed if they were released or if they escaped on their own. Those still inside have been trapped for a terrifying 10 hours so far.

Picture Credit: Toby Zerna

From outside the cafe, hostages can be seen sanding against the windows for upto two hours at a time, hands above their heads or against the glass.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott issued a statement on the matter earlier today. He said: ‘This is a very disturbing incident. It is profoundly shocking that innocent people should be held hostage by an armed person claiming political motivation.’

'Australia is a peaceful, open, and generous society. Nothing should ever change that.'

He thanked police and security services for their ongoing work, adding that: 'Australia is a peaceful, open, and generous society. Nothing should ever change that.'

At around 9.45AM U.K. time, the lights in the cafe were seen to go out while many hostages still remain inside. We will keep you updated on this story as it develops.

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