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Thousands lay flowers at the hostage siege site in Sydney

Thousands lay flowers at the hostage siege site in Sydney
Nearby florist kiosks struggled to keep up with demand as well-wishers created a sea of bouquets in an impromptu memorial at Martin Place, the city square where the 16-hour drama unfolded.

“Just the fact that something like this has never happened before in Australia, and it just makes you feel so sad,” said Tom Harris, who works on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as he approached with a large bouquet. ”

“And I just feel so sad and just feel sorry for the poor people, especially at Christmas time.”

Emotions were raw as Australia dealt with the news that the Lindt chocolate cafe had been stormed in the early hours by heavily armed police, ending the siege in the heart of Sydney’s financial district.
Most of the hostages escaped but the cafe manager, 34, and a 38-year-old mother-of-three lay dead while six more people were injured, including three women with gunshot wounds.

The attack staged by Iranian-born Islamist gunman Man Haron Monis, who also died, rocked the country. Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph conveyed the national mood with its front-page headline: “Evil Strikes Our Heart”.

PM Abbott says hostage taker was disturbed

Australia’s Prime Minister says the gunman who took hostages in a Sydney cafe was “a deeply disturbed individual’ known to the police but he was not on a terror watch list.Tony Abbott said Tuesday that Man Haron Monis, who died in a police raid along with two hostages, “certainly had been well known to the Australian Federal Police ... but I don’t believe that he was on a terror watch list at this time.”Abbott spoke after laying flowers at a makeshift memorial in Sydney for the victims of a central city cafe siege. He laid a bouquet of white flowers at the memorial in Martin Place while his wife Margie laid a bouquet of red flowers.

Abbott also wrote a message and waved at the crowd.

Agencies

Agencies

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