Sydney Siege Ends as Police Raid Café

Australian police stormed the cafe where a self-styled Muslim cleric had been holding hostages early Tuesday, ending a crisis that had shut down central Sydney for hours.

“Sydney siege is over,” New South Wales police announced on Twitter. Police have not commented on casualties in the raid, but Australian media reported that some people may have died and others may have been injured.

Police have not disclosed the fate of the gunman, identified by an official with direct knowledge of the situation as Man Haron Monis.

It was unknown if any police were injured. Police and emergency services speedily moved into the cafe area shortly after five or six hostages were seen fleeing the building. Loud bangs and shots were also heard. The full extent of injuries suffered by those who were held hostage is still not clear.

A hostage and the gunman are believed to have died during the standoff, media reports say.

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