Prity Goswami

Correspondent – Delhi Bureau

[email protected]

Sydney, December 15:

Police in New York are monitoring a terrorist attack in Syndey, Australia, in which as many as 20 people have been taken hostage.

An armed siege is developing after either one of two gunmen marched into a Lindt cafe in the center of the city and forced sobbing hostages against the window and forced them to display an Islamic flag, igniting fears of a jihadist attack.


Pictures showed a black and white flag similar to those used by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria being held up by what appeared to be a staff member and another woman. Local media reports said the flag was the Shahada, a general expression of faith in Islam, a translation of which is: “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.”

Australian police have sealed off the surrounding streets amid fears the attacker or attackers have a shotgun and explosives.

In light of the attack, the NYPD said they are ‘aware of what’s happening in Australia’, and later added: ‘We are monitoring the situation in Sydney.’ The U.S. government has also evacuated its consulate in Sydney, which is very close to the scene of the confrontation.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who has warned of militant plans to strike Australian targets, said there were indications the hostage situation at the cafe was politically motivated

Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its escalating action against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, is on high alert for attacks by home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the ongoing hostage situation in Sydney as “disturbing”.

“Such acts are inhuman & deeply unfortunate. I pray for everyone’s safety,” Modi tweeted.

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