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FOURTH DAYS, HOSTAGES HELD INSIDE SYDNEY CAFE

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SYDNEY, Australia (4th UPDATE) – Three people were Monday, December 15, seen running out of a Sydney cafe where an armed offender has taken hostages and displayed an Islamic flag against the window, television pictures showed.
The hostages appeared to come out of a side door which was being watched by heavily armed police, almost 6 hours after the standoff began. It is not clear how many people remain inside.
"Three people have now emerged from the location in Martin Place," New South Wales police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn said, referring to the central business district location.
"The first thing we will do is make sure they are okay. We will work with these people to figure out more information. We do not have information to suggest that anyone is harmed at this stage," Burn said.
Police said they did not have precise figures on how many hostages remained in the building but Burn said "it is not as high as 30" as some reports had suggested.
She added that police negotiators "have had contact and continue to have contact" with the person holding the hostages but they still did not know the motivation for the siege.

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