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    Sydney Hostage Crisis Over After Police Storm Cafe

    December 16, 2014

    Police have declared the siege over in Sydney after armed officers stormed the chocolate shop at the center of a hostage crisis and hostages were seen fleeing amid the sound of explosions.

    At 10:19 a.m. ET, a group of at least seven heavily armed police officers went into the Lindt cafe under the cover of loud bangs of what local news Channel 9 is calling stun grenades. Shortly after the police stormed the café, at least two hostages emerged, looking visibly shaken.


    A few minutes later, a few paramedics were seen entering the café behind police officers with medical packs - followed by at least two stretchers.


    The explosive police action came shortly after a new wave of hostages emerged from the shop. The suspect was identified as Man Monis, according to Australian news reports.


    Monis is believed to be a self-proclaimed Islamic "sheikh" who is known to Australian police because he was allegedly involved in dozens of counts of sexual assault, according to Australian media reports.


    He was born in Iran as Manteghi Bourjerdi and migrated to Australia in 1996, according to the station.


    Earlier in the day, seven new people fled from the popular Sydney cafe after they had been taken hostage - with others still held inside as neighboring blocks remain locked down, authorities said.(KH)

    Last modified on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 08:36

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