WATCH: The dramatic final moments of the Sydney hostage standoff

Heavy gunfire and loud bangs rang out shortly after 2 a.m. local time and moments earlier at least six people believed to have been held captive had managed to flee the scene.

By REUTERS
December 15, 2014 18:26

Security forces storm Sydney hostage siege cafe

Security forces storm Sydney hostage siege cafe

Gunfire was heard in the vicinity of a Sydney cafe on Tuesday shortly before Australian security forces stormed the building where several hostages were being held at gunpoint, ending a standoff that had dragged on for more than 16 hours.

Heavy gunfire and loud bangs rang out shortly after 2 a.m. local time and moments earlier at least six people believed to have been held captive had managed to flee the scene.

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Medics moved in and took away several injured people on stretchers, but it was not clear whether they included the gunman.

At least five hostages were released or escaped on Monday, with terrified cafe workers and customers running with arms raised to paramilitary police.

About 15 hostages were understood to have been holed up inside the cafe, said Chris Reason, a reporter at Channel Seven, whose office is opposite the cafe.



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