Full Details about the hostage situation going on in Australian cafe right now
From UK Daily Mail
Fear etched into their faces, two young female employees have fled a central Sydney cafe more than seven hours after a terrorist armed with a gun took more than a dozen people hostage and forced crying women to hold a black Islamic flag up to the window.
A total of five hostages, including barista Elly Chen, have now escaped the Lindt cafe in Martin Place an hour after a male employee and two male customers scrambled from a fire exit and sheltered behind heavily armed police officers shortly before 3.45pm on Monday.
It is understood the hostages escaped from the cafe, rather than being released by their captor. One former male hostage has been taken to nearby St Vincent’s Hospital, in Sydney’s inner suburbs, and is being treated for a pre-existing condition.
The gunman flew into a rage when he realised some of his captives had escaped.
‘The gunman could be seen from here getting extremely agitated, shouting at remaining hostages,’ tweeted journalist Chris Reason, who has a direct line of sight into the cafe from the Seven Network newsroom directly opposite and inside the police cordon.
The light inside the building has gone off tonight, Mr Reason said, but police would not reveal whether it was a law enforcement or hostage-taker tactic.
Police negotiators have learned the name of the man and have made contact.
This evening, Mr Reason said he could see the gunman rotating the hostages through positions in the store’s window.
‘From inside Martin Place we can see the faces of hostages – pained, strained, eyes red and raw,’ he recounted. Food and water was also being delivered to the prisoners from the cafe’s back kitchens.
Seven Network staff have counted around 15 hostages in the cafe, he said, rather than the 50 reported by Lindt Australia CEO Steve Loane earlier on Monday.
Daily Mail Australia understands a 25-year-old female fashion industry worker and two female baristas aged in their 30s are among that number.
As scores of heavily armed police, clad in black, remained on guard in Martin Place, Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione tonight said police would do whatever it takes for the situation to be peacefully resolved.
On Monday morning, witnesses described how a man wearing a headband covered in Arabic walked into the cafe around 9:30am and produced a shotgun from a blue bag.
Shortly afterwards, as police surged into the city, hostages were seen with their hands pressed against the windows holding up the Islamic Shahada flag. It is an emblem of extremist group Jabhat al-Nusra, which is fighting the Assad government in Syria.
The hostage taker is believed to have demanded a flag of the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria and to talk to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
|A young female employee came running out of the Lindt cafe shortly before 5pm and was sheltered by waiting police|
|Ms Chen, pictured, was the fifth hostage, scrambling from the cafe with her hands in the air|
Sydney was eerily quiet on Monday night. Office buildings went into lockdown earlier this morning, Martin Place train station – a central thoroughfare for workers – was shuttered. Events at the Opera House, such as a performance of the Nutcracker, were cancelled as the city icon was evacuated.
Two men, believed to be customers, ran around a corner and hid behind heavily armed police after six hours inside the cafe
|Hostages by the window|