Sydney siege: Gunman, two hostages dead after siege ends

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NSW Police have confirmed three people have died following a shoot-out at a Sydney cafe.

LIVE COVERAGE: Sydney siege

The gunman and two hostages have been confirmed dead following a 16-hour siege at a Sydney cafe.

NSW Police said the 50-year-old gunman was killed during a confrontation with police at around 2am this morning.

Yesterday morning, the man, named as self-styled Iranian cleric Man Haron Moris, had taken at least 17 people hostage at the Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney's CBD.

Two of the hostages, a man, aged 34, and a 38-year-old woman were pronunced dead after being taken to hospital.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said 17 hostages had been accounted for so far, including five who escaped yesterday afternoon.

Some were suffering from traumatic injuries, while others had medical conditions. At least six people were uninjured.

"We also have a lone gunman who has been shot and killed and we have a male police officer who has been injured as a result of gunshot wounds to the face," he said.

"I have talked to that officer. He is in good condition."

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NSW Premier Mike Baird said the government's thoughts and prayers were with the innocent victims of an "horrendous vicious attack."

"I want to say to their family and friends that everyone in NSW stands beside you," he said.

"My thoughts also remain with those hostages who have been freed.

"They will be provided every support they need in coming days and weeks and months."

A police critical incident investigation into the incident which will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command.

"We need to find out what's happened here and inside that cafe," Mr Scipione said. "It's not time to speculate or develop theories."

Mr Scipione echoed Mr Baird's comments, saying he could only imagine the terror the hostages had gone through.

"They're very brave people who in many cases were just buying a cup of coffee and they got caught up in this dreadful affair," he said.

"We should reflect on their courage, the courage that they displayed during the many hours in that room. They had to make decisions, hard decisions, and our heart goes out to them."

National security committee to meet

Prime Minister Tony Abbott commended the "courage and professionalism" of the country's police following the deadly siege in Martin Place.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two deceased hostages, the wounded and the other hostages," he said in a statement.

"I commend the courage and professionalism of the New South Wales Police and other emergency services involved.

Mr Abbott confirmed that the National Security Committee of Cabinet will meet shortly to review the situation.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten echoed the prime minister's statement, saying the "thoughts and prayers" of Australia are with the families of victims.

"The loss of two innocent people in this horrific event overnight breaks our hearts," he said.

"We also keep in our thoughts the wounded and other hostages, and their families. Their ordeal is not over.

"We owe our full gratitude to our police and security agencies for their bravery, service and sacrifice. Their skill and professionalism has saved lives.  

"Today, all of Australia stands with Sydney."

-With AAP

Source: SBS

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