Two hostages dead in Sydney cafe siege

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram In a tragic end to the harrowing 16 hour siege at a cafe in Sydney’s CBD, two hostages have been killed. Loud explosions and yelling could be heard from outside the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place at 2:00am, after which police stormed the building. Two hostages, identified as Katrina Dawson, 38, and the manager of the Lindt cafe Tori Johnson aged 34 were taken to hospital but died soon after. The man responsible was named as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian cleric on bail for a string of violent offences, including being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. Monis held 17 hostages in the cafe for more than 16 hours, before being shot down by police after things appeared to escalate.The hostages contacted a number of media outlets, during the siege but police asked the media not to reveal the contents of the calls.Around 4pm yesterday, five terrified hostages fled the cafe. One of the first hostages to be released was Stefan Balafoutis, a Greek Australian lawyer who became a huge help to police in the remaining hours of the siege.Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described the violent siege in Sydney’s CBD as a “brush with terrorism” and praised the work of police.“Australians should be reassured by the way our law enforcement and security agencies responded to this brush with terrorism,” he said.“There is nothing more Australian than dropping in at the local cafe for a morning coffee and it’s tragic beyond words that people going about their everyday business should have been caught up in such a horrific incident.“Our hearts go out to all of those caught up in this appalling incident and their loved ones.”In the wake of news this morning, people have started leaving flowers at Martin Place, while many have taken to twitter to offer to ride on buses and trains with Muslims, or give them a lift to work in order to keep them safe from any potential backlash.NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced flags on all NSW Government buildings will fly at half-mast today. The flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge are also at half-mast.last_img