Five of the 15 reported hostages ran for their lives as they escaped a Lindt chocolate shop in Sydney, Australia on Dec. 15 that had been taken over by a suspected Islamic gunman. They managed to flee six hours after being held against their will in a vicious act of terror, but 10 more are still trapped inside.
The terrifying hostage situation at the Lindt chocolate shop and cafe at Martin Place in Sydney, Australia continues to unravel, but five hostages have managed to escape. Their stealth and brave act left the gunman “extremely agitated,” and there are reportedly up to 10 more hostages still inside the shop fighting for their lives.
Sydney, Australia: Hostages Escape Terrifying Siege At Chocolate Shop
The gunman sieged the chocolate shop at Sydney’s Martin Place, a busy tourist attraction and shopping center, at 9:45 a.m. on Dec. 15.
Six hours after being held against their will, three men fled from the cafe out of side exits and into the arms of police, NBC News reports. Two women courageously escaped about an hour afterwards.
The hostage-taker forced his/her victims to stand against the windows and made them hold flags used by Islamist groups in the Middle East that read “There is no God but Allah” and “Mohammed is the messenger of God.” NBC News analyst and ex-FBI agent Don Borelli told Today that the armed suspect may have been inspired by ISIS.
Chris Reason, a journalist with NBC News’ Australian Channel 7, tweeted that the gunman was “extremely agitated” after the five hostages escaped from the cafe. He said that the gunman was shouting at the remaining hostages inside.
Police have been doing everything they can to make sure that all the hostages escape unharmed.
“We have the very best negotiators in the world on the job right now,” New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters. “Our plan, our only goal tonight is to get those people that are currently caught in that building out of there safely. For those that may be in that building rest assured we are doing all we can to set you free.”
The hostage situation comes four months after Australian police made anti-terrorism raids in Sydney, NBC News also reports.
Our thoughts go out to those still being held hostage, as well as their worried family and friends.
— Avery Thompson