Breaking: Group of Hostages Taken in Sydney Cafe, Forced to Hold Islamic Flag

lindthostages(Bloomberg) – A group of people has been taken hostage in a cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place and forced to hold a black flag with Arabic writing against the window, Australian television networks reported.

About half a dozen armed officers wearing helmets and body armor were stationed on the corner of Elizabeth Street and Martin Place, about 20 meters from the Lindt cafe entrance. Pedestrians were blocked from the CBD square, which houses offices for Macquarie Group, the central bank and Westpac Banking Corp.

Channel Seven showed images of people inside the cafe with their arms up pressed against the window and holding a black flag with white lettering. New South Wales police confirmed an operation was underway in Martin Place, and declined to provide further details. Sky News said the Sydney Opera House was evacuated after a suspicious package was found.

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