• Held hostages for more than 16 hours.

A group of heavily armed police stormed a cafe in Sydney, Australia, ending a siege by an Iranian-born gunman who had held an unknown number of hostages for more than 16 hours. A police spokesman confirmed “the operation is over,” but would not release any other details about the fate of the gunman.

The standoff ended when a loud bang was heard from the Lindt Chocolat Cafe and five people ran out. Then police swooped into the building, and there was a flurry of loud bangs. The gunman was identified by local media as Man Haron Monis, who is facing charges, including sexual assault and accessory to murder in separate cases.

Monis has long been on officials’ radar. Last year, he was sentenced to 300 hours of community service for writing offensive letters to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. He was later charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife. Earlier this year, he was charged with the sexual assault of a woman in 2002. He has been out on bail on the charges.

Extracted and modified from Yahoo News.


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