NEW VIDEO: Gunshots Fired, Hostages Flee as Police Storm Sydney Cafe
A 16-hour standoff ended early Tuesday morning in Sydney, Australia, after police stormed a cafe where a jihadist held an unknown number of hostages.
Explosions were heard and gunshots were fired as authorities carrying automatic weapons stormed Lindt Chocolat Cafe.
According to an Associated Press report, a police spokesman confirmed "the operation is over," but would not release further details about the fate of the gunman or hostages.
Police in Sydney confirmed that the gunman was killed along with two hostages. A policeman was shot in the face, but is said to be in good condition.
A series of explosions, believed to be gunshots and flash grenades, came just before 2:30 a.m. local time as several more hostages fled Lindt Chocolat Cafe, where a man identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian also known for sending hate mail to the families of fallen soldiers, was holed up with an unknown number of captives. The drama, which began early Monday, appeared to be coming to a dramatic resolution, as frenzied activity enveloped the scene that Australians had been watching on television for hours.
"Police and paramedics have stormed the building," the Sydney Morning Herald reported. "Dozens of continuous bangs and possibly gun shots have lit up the sky."
Several people were taken from the building on stretchers as an alarm rang and police in riot gear moved in and out of the shop, in the heart of Australia's largest city's business district. A bomb disposal robot was seen being deployed in the shop, though police said the standoff was over. It was not clear if anyone was injured or killed or what had happened to the suspect. The handful of hostages seen fleeing as the explosions echoed through the predawn air followed escapes hours earlier by five captives.
Watch the clip above.