An armed gunman took some 17 people hostage at lunchtime on Monday at a Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney, Australia.
According to the BBC, police in Sydney sealed off a section of that city’s central business district last night when a gunman terrorized the Lindt Chocolate Café, refusing to allow employees or customers to leave. Witnesses described seeing a man with a gun enter the café early in the morning. The hostages were later photographed holding up a black banner with Arabic writing in the window, reportedly forced to do so by 49-year-old Man Haron Monis, the suspected gunman. Monis was reportedly out on bail for an array of criminal charges including more than 40 sexual and indecent assault charges and being an accessory to the murder of his former wife. He styled himself an Islamic "sheikh."-
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the siege ended early Tuesday morning after armed police stormed the café with stun grenades. Earlier in the day, some of the hostages had managed to escape. Later reports verified that Monis and two of the hostages had been slain during the attack.