Around 9.30am this morning Dec. 14th, a man witnesses described as wearing a headband covered in Arabic walked into a central Sydney cafe, produced a gun and now holding several people - about 15/20 - hostage inside the cafe. He later forced crying women to hold a black Islamic flag up to the window. He is believed to be affiliated with Islamic sect ISIS. Read full story after the cut...
From UK Daily Mail
From UK Daily Mail
On Monday morning, columnist Chris Kenny, who was in the shop about 20 minutes before the siege began, said he understood the automatic glass sliding doors had been disabled after the gunman stormed the store.
'I did speak to a couple of people who saw a bit more of this unfold than I did,' he said. 'One woman said she tried to go into the shop just after I came out with my takeaway coffee but the doors wouldn't open.
'So obviously whoever is doing this has disabled the automatic glass sliding doors to stop anyone else going in and she said immediately she could see there was a weapon.
'The woman was quite frantic but very clear what she was telling (the police).
'I know the faces of the people who are sitting there enjoying a morning coffee.'
2GB radio host Ray Hadley said he had three tense telephone conversations with one of the hostages inside the cafe and he could hear the gunman giving demands.
The hostage asked to be put to air live following the instructions of the gunman. However, Hadley refused saying he didn't have the expertise to deal with the situation.
'There are some people who are not well. They've been in there for five hours, they're distraught,' he said.
'I'm not in a position to comply with requests that have been made, I can't.
'The media can't play a role in negotiating with people purporting to be from Islamic State holding hostages in a cafe in Sydney. This is the job of authorities to solve htis problem.
'They want us to say things that we simply can't say.'
Witnesses described the chaotic scenes in the legal, business and media centre as it was shut down and scores of heavily armed police surrounded the Lindt building.
All of the chocolate chain's stores around Sydney were closed following the incident, in an act of camaraderie.
|Hostages by the window|