Update: NSW police confirms hostages held by gunman in Sydney cafe

One armed man is holding an undisclosed number of hostages in a siege in Sydney said New South Wales state police commissioner Andrew Scipione told a press conference on Monday (Dec 15) adding that it was yet to be deemed a terrorism event.

He however, did not disclose the number of hostages being held in the Lindt Cafe in central Sydney. 

“I can confirm for you that we have an armed defender in the premises holding an undisclosed number of hostages in the city, in the Martin Place area,”  Scipione told a press conference.

He also said that the police has not had direct contact with the hostage taker.

In response to a question from the gathered media, he was reluctant to confirm that it was a terror related event. 

The nearby Sydney Opera House was temporarily evacuated after a suspicious package had been found, a staff member told Reuters.

Tourists were being let back into the world-famous venue by early afternoon.

Qantas Airways Ltd said planes were avoiding flying over the central business district but were landing as normal.

Source: AFP, Twitter

Related report: Hostages held inside Sydney cafe, Arabic flag held up