Sydney Cafe Siege: Three Dead in Standoff

Man Haron Monis, seen in a 2011 photo, has been identified as the hostage-taker at a cafe in downtown Sydney. European Pressphoto Agency

SYDNEY—A siege that shut down a large part of central Sydney for more than 16 hours ended in bloodshed early Tuesday, after two hostages and their armed captor were killed when police stormed the cafe behind volleys of bullets.

New South Wales police said the lone gunman—identified as 50-year-old self-proclaimed cleric Man Haron Monis —was pronounced dead in hospital following the shootout at the Lindt Chocolate Café in Martin Place around 2:10 a.m. The two unnamed hostages, a 34-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman, also died following the confrontation between the gunman and police.

Three other hostages and one police officer were injured in the tense conclusion to one of Australia’s biggest hostage dramas in years, police said. Armed officers throwing flash grenades and firing automatic weapons had stormed the cafe minutes after some of the hostages had fled to safety. The firefight abruptly ended negotiations with the gunman that had lasted several hours.