Australia: Siege over

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Police have stormed the Sydney cafe that’s been under siege for more than 15 hours, firing gunshots shortly after hostages ran out of the building.

Gunshots were heard inside the cafe, which was also surrounded by police.

About 11 hostages left the cafe, and at least four people were injured, Sky News reported.

The events brought to a head a siege that began yesterday morning when a man identified by Australian media as Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian charged with being an accessory to murder, held up the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in the city’s center.

The holdup, three months after Australia raised its terrorism alert to the highest level in a decade, triggered a lockdown in Sydney’s central business district.

Paramedics converged on the site of the Sydney siege and have been assisting hostages from the café.

Five hostages fled the cafe in Martin Place yesterday, after the gunman forced his captives to display a black flag with Arabic lettering.

Another six ran out just before the shooting began. (Bloomberg)

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