A gunman suspected to be Islamic fundamentalist has held hostage close to 30 customers of a cafe (Martin Place Cafe) located within Sydney’s central business district, in Australia. The man was said to have asked his victims hold out a flag with a Shahada, an Arabic creed, which means: “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
In the period since the incident began, five people, among them women, have been sighted running out of the cafe. It was not clear if they were freed by their abductors or they escaped. Heavily armed policemen from New South Wales police are laying a siege on the cafe, while people have been evacuated from the area.
Australian Pime Minister, Tony Abbott, the premier, Mike Baird, and police authorities said they were yet to establish the motive for the siege, which happened during the Monday morning rush hour.
More details as happenings unfold…