Millennium Post

Sydney siege: Gunman dead

A police spokesman confirmed “the operation is over,” but would not release any other details about the fate of the gunman, identified as 50-year-old Haron Monis, or of the hostages many of whom had escaped earlier on their own.

A female hostage was reportedly shot in the leg, a hospital official said, and earlier at least two people were wheeled out of the cafe on stretchers. A weeping woman was helped out by police. The standoff ended when a loud bang was heard from the Lindt Chocolat Cafe and five people ran out.

Then police swooped into the building, and there was a flurry of loud bangs. Police fired stun grenades and shots as they stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney’s commercial district after 2:30 am local time on Tuesday and later declared that the siege was over.

Australian TV networks reported that two persons — gunman Monis and one of the captives — died and three others were severely injured in the police operation. Police, however, did not confirm this.

Two Indian nationals — Vishwakant Ankit Reddy and Pushpendu Ghosh — were among the hostages involved when Monis began his siege. However, Reddy, an Infosys employee in his mid-30s, and Ghosh, whose details were not known, escaped safely. Reddy has been working in Australia for the past seven years and is a native of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. Both are undergoing medical check-ups, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in New Delhi.

The gunman, a self-styled Muslim cleric, was described by his former lawyer as an isolated figure, who was acting alone.

Monis, who arrived in Australia as a refugee in 1996, notoriously sent letters to the families of Australian soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan, accusing them of being murderers. In November last year, he was charged with being an accessory before and after the murder of his ex-wife, who was allegedly stabbed and set alight in her apartment complex. In March, he was charged with sexually and indecently assaulting a young woman in 2002.


12:16 Two women
, one after another, sprinted from the cafe and into the arms of heavily armed police. Both were wearing aprons with the Lindt chocolate logo, indicating they were cafe employees.

12:26 The Indian Consulate in Sydney was on Monday evacuated in view of the hostage situation in the Sydney cafe, the External Affairs Ministry said.

12:28 The Indian Consulate is in touch with local authorities and all the staffers in the consulate are safe, the spokesperson said.

12:39 The gunman
wants to speak to Australian PM Tony Abbott.

13:11 It is an important part of our negotiation that we don't talk about tactics with the gunman: Police

13:21 An Indian amongst the people held hostage at the Sydney cafe: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu

14:40 Infosys confirms
one of its employees held hostage in Sydney's Lindt cafe.

14:56 Police still cannot confirm the number of people held hostage in Sydney's Lindt café

18:45 Cops are negotiating with the armed offender in the cafe. The gunman has been identified who is an Iranian refugee with a criminal past

18:45 US’s FBI
to assist Australia in Sydney crisis.

20:50  Police have fired multiple shots after storming the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place Sydney

21:12 Crisis ends
after police storm Lindt Cafe. 11 hostages have reportedly escaped.

21:12 THE 16-HOUR
long drama ends. Infosys engineer reported safe.
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