AN ARMED man is holding several people hostage at a cafe in Martin Place in Sydney.
There are hostages standing with their hands up at the windows in the popular Lindt chocolate shop, which has two or three entrances. There is also a black and white flag being held up in a window. It is believed to be the Black Standard, a jihadist flag.
Terrifying for the hostages, and also for everyone in Sydney. Hopefully the situation will be resolved with no hostages killed. If it is a terrorist attack, which seems the case, it is a grim reminder how close to home it is all getting.
UPDATE: The flag says:
There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God’
It seems it is a jihadist flag, not an ISIS flag. The distinction may seem small, but I’d say less likely that the hostages will be publicly killed. Let’s hope.