The terrifying moment armed police stormed a cafe in central Sydney, in which a number of hostages were being held by a gunman, has been caught in dramatic television footage.

Several loud and prolonged explosions took place shortly before paramedics approached and several people were taken from the building - some on stretchers.

A stand-off took place at the Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place in Sydney’s Central Business District for more than 17 hours on Monday.

Reports suggest that the gunman, named as Man Haron Monis, died along with another unnamed person.

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