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How events in the Sydney siege unfolded


The 16 hour Sydney siege ended in bloodshed yesterday. Here is how things unfolded.

9.45am Emergency services are called to the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney. Early reports suggest a siege with an unknown number of hostages in the building.

10.09am The first images are released, appearing to show the hostages inside the cafe with their hands in the air in surrender.

10.15am Two female hostages appear to hold a black Islamic flag containing Arabic writing against the cafe window.

10.24am People in nearby buildings are evacuated.

11.43am A man claiming to be the hostage-taker calls a Sydney radio station saying there are other devices around the city. Later, New South Wales police confirm the caller was a hostage.

11.59am The first images of the suspected hostage-taker emerge - he is believed to be armed.

2pm Police confirm there is one armed offender holding "an undisclosed number of hostages" but are yet to establish direct contact with the gunman.

3.37pm A breakthrough as three hostages are released.

4.59pm Two further hostages - both female - are released, bringing the total to five.

7.45pm The hostage suspect is "known" to police and media, but police ask for his identity not to be broadcast.

8.30pm Police commissioner Mr Scipione suggests that the siege could last for days, and states negotiators have made contact with the hostage-taker.

9.40pm The siege passes the 12-hour mark.

9.51pm The #illridewithyou hashtag, which was started to show solidarity with Australian Muslims, receives 65,000 tweets in three hours, according to BBC.

1.10am Police say they believe the man who seized hostages is self-styled Muslim cleric Man Haron Monis, 49.

2.08am At least five more hostages flee the scene of the siege and sprint into the waiting arms of police - the first movement for nine hours.

2.20am Armed police storm the cafe amid a frenzy of gunfire.

2.45am NSW Police confirm the incident has concluded. They tweet: "Sydney siege is over."

3.20am Reports from Australia suggest two people - the gunman and one hostage - have died.