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Latest: Five hostages run out of Sydney cafe that was taken over by gunman

Five people ran out of a Sydney cafe where a gunman has taken hostages and displayed an Arabic flag against the window, witnesses and police said on Monday (Dec 15), adding that no one has yet been harmed.

Dramatic videos showed two women running out of the cafe into the arms of the police.

They were both wearing aprons indicating they were staff at the Lindt cafe where a gunman has been holding an unknown number of hostages for several hours.

About an hour earlier, three men had run out of the cafe.

 

 

It was not clear if they escaped or were released.

Immediately after the three men had ran out of the cafe, New South Wales police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn gave a short briefing to the media.

“Three people have now emerged from the location in Martin Place, the first thing we will do is make sure they are okay.We will work with these people to figure out more information. We do not have information to suggest that anyone is harmed at this stage.” - New South Wales police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn

Police said they did not have precise figures on how many hostages remained in the building but Burn said “it is not as high as 30” as some reports had suggested.

She added that police negotiators “have had contact and continue to have contact” with the person holding the hostages, but they still did not know the motivation for the siege.

Source: AFP, Reuters

Related reports: NSW police confirms hostages held by gunman in Sydney cafe 
                          Hostages held inside Sydney cafe, Arabic flag held up             

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