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A police operation is underway at a café in central Sydney, where up to 40 hostages are being held by unknown attackers and a black Daesh-jihadist flag can be seen.
It comes amid Australia’s backing of the US-led operation against Daesh (so called Islamic State).
A senior Lindt Australia official said that 10 staff and up to 30 customers could be held inside the Lindt Chocolate Café in Martin Place.
The hostages were forced to hold a black flag with an Arabic inscription, prompting fears that ruthless Daesh-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants were behind the attack.