Two women hostages inside the Lindt Cafe holding an islamic flag up against the windo
Two women hostages inside the Lindt Cafe holding an islamic flag up against the windo

What we know

New South Wales police have confirmed that three people, including a gunman, have died after a siege at a cafe in Sydney.

Police said the gunman, named as Man Haron Monis - a self-styled "sheikh", died in hospital after a confrontation with armed police as well as a 34-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman.

At current calculations, police say they believe there were 17 hostages being held at the Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place in Sydney's Central Business District on Monday.

The situation began at 9.45am in Australia (or 10:45pm in Britain) and ended 17 hours later.

Armed officers surrounded the cafe, where staff and customers were forced to hold what appeared to be a black Islamic flag against the window by a gunman.

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