An armed man who is suspected to be a member of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is currently holding about 40 hostage at a café in central Sidney, Australia.
Suspected terror group member holds 40 hostage in Australia
A gunman is currently holding about 40 persons hostage in a café in Australia. The hostages have been forced to hold a black jihadist flag prompting fears that the ISIS is behind the attack.
The gunman took the 40 hostages in a chocolate shop and café in Australia's largest city and the hostages were forced to hold a black flag with an Arabic inscription, prompting fears that terror group is behind the attack.
Australia is contributing to the US-led operation against the Islamic State and many media have connected the attack to the insurgent sect. Back in September, Australia contributed 600 troops and up to 10 military aircraft to the campaign and in October, launched its first fighter jet mission in Iraq against the IS.
US President, Barack Obama has been brief of the situation in Australia according to .
Less than seven hours after the incident first erupted inside the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney during the height of the morning rush hour, five people had ran from the building housing the cafe. The first three out were men who were followed later by two were women wearing aprons bearing the Lindt logo.
A senior Lindt Australia official said that 10 staff and up to 30 customers could be held hostage. “There wereprobably 30 customersat the time of the attack,” Lindt Chief Executive, Steve Loane, told.
The area surrounding the café has been sealed off by police, and Australian authorities have cleared the airspace over central Sydney to make way for police helicopters.
Live TV footage showed people standing inside the café with their hands pressed against the windows. At least one attacker was caught on camera wearing a traditional Islamic cap.
Police have told newsmen that they have been able to establish the gunman revealing that the hostage keeper has no accomplice. Reports also say that the gunman has made demands, but the media have been asked not to report it by the police for security reasons.
More than 40 Australian Muslim groups have jointly condemned the hostage; "we reject any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being or to instill fear and terror into their hearts," they said in a statement, adding that it was a "despicable act,” part of their statement reads.
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