Sydney siege: US Consulate in Sydney near hostage cafe crisis evacuated, security warning issued

People look on as events unfold on a street where a cafe is being used to hold hostages in the central business district of Sydney on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 
People look on as events unfold on a street where a cafe is being used to hold hostages in the central business district of Sydney on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - The United States has evacuated its Sydney Consulate, which is located near a cafe in the city where hostages are being held, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

The consulate has also issued an emergency warning to US citizens in Sydney, urging them to "maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security".

The spokeswoman said a couple of essential personnel remained at the consulate but all others had been sent home.