The hostage situation, in which an armed man has taken captive a group of people in Sydney, Australia. Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place in Sydney’s Central Business District is the center of the situation, which has been growing over the hours.
So, far, the Australian government has not disclosed the amount of people who are hostages, but, so far two women and three men have escaped.
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An article from The Independent  sums up what we know and don’t know so far regarding the situation:
What We Know
An undisclosed number of people are being held hostage by an armed man in a cafe in Sydney.
Three men and two women have escaped the Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place in Sydney’s Central Business District.
Armed officers have surrounded the cafe, where staff and customers have been forced to hold what appeared to be a black Islamic flag against the window.
Demands Include ISIS Flag and Call With Abbott
One of the hostages runs towards police from a cafe in the central business district of Sydney
The hostage taker has reportedly asked for two things via contacting the Australian media: an Isis flag and a phone call with the country’s prime minister Tony Abbott.
Earlier New South Wales’s Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione confirmed that the incident involved “an armed offender” and “an undisclosed number of hostages”, and that they had not as yet had any communication or contact with the hostage-taker.
On being questioned, Mr Scipione said there was “at least one armed offender”, and the police were operating “on a terrorism footing”.
St. Vincent’s hospital spokesman David Faktor said a male hostage who had escaped was in a satisfactory condition in the hospital’s emergency department. He was the only one of the freed hostages to be taken to a hospital.
“He’s in a satisfactory condition, so he’s sitting up and that’s all we can give out. We can’t talk about the reason for his presentation,” Faktor said.
Hostages Being Forced To Hold Flags Of Islamic Faith Messages In Windows
Television footage shot through the cafe’s windows showed several people with their arms in the air and hands pressed against the glass, and two people holding up a black flag with the Shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith, written on it.
The Shahada translates as “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger.” It is considered the first of Islam’s five pillars of faith, and is similar to the Lord’s Prayer in Christianity. It is pervasive throughout Islamic culture, including the green flag of Saudi Arabia. Jihadis have expropriated the Shahada in their own black flag.
Lindt Australia posted a message on its Facebook page thanking the public for its support.
What we don’t know
The number of hostages
Who the group are and their motivation
If anyone has been injured
How many hostage-takers there are
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