Police Storm Sydney Cafe To End Hostage Siege, Three Dead

Video grab shows armed police taking up position near Sydney's Lindt cafe, where hostages are being held

Police say three people – including the gunman –  are dead after authorities stormed a Sydney cafe early Tuesday, thereby bringing to a dramatic end a 16-hour standoff in which a murder suspect and jihadist had held 17 hostages in a scene much of the world watched on television. Fox News was there:

A series of explosions, believed to be gunshots and flash grenades, came just before 2:30 a.m. local time as several more hostages fled Lindt Chocolat Cafe, where a man identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian also known for sending hate mail to the families of fallen soldiers, was holed up with the captives. Authorities say Monis was shot and killed during the confrontation with police.

A 34-year-old man and 38-year-old woman also were among the dead, police said. Four people were injured in the raid, including a female hostage who was shot in the leg, an official told The Associated Press. One policeman, who suffered a gunshot wound in the face, is in good condition and is grateful to be alive, Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters at a press conference.

Several people were taken from the building on stretchers as an alarm rang and police in riot gear moved in and out of the shop, in the heart of Australia’s largest city’s business district. A bomb disposal robot was seen being deployed in the shop, though police said the standoff was over. Authorities later said no explosive devices were found.