Sydney siege: Police storm Sydney cafe, more hostages freed

Heavily armed policemen stand guard outside the building containing the Lindt cafe, where hostages are being held, at Martin Place in central Sydney on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Heavily armed policemen stand guard outside the building containing the Lindt cafe, where hostages are being held, at Martin Place in central Sydney on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY - Police have stormed a cafe in central Sydney early Tuesday morning, ending the siege of a gunman who held more than a dozen hostages for more than 16 hours.They fired automatic weapons and threw grenades moments after remaining captives were seen fleeing.

The dramatic end stage of the siege came as the gunman holding the remaining captives was revealed as a self-proclaimed Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis.A Sydney Morning Herald reporter, who was near the scene, said: “Police and paramedics have stormed the building. Dozens of continuous bangs and possibly gun shots have lit up the sky.”Multiple shots had been fired, reported the newspaper, adding that paramedics appeared to be entering the Lindt Cafe, accompanied by police.