A hostage crisis is unfolding in Sydney, with a possible Islamist militant connection


Originally posted on Quartz:

This is a breaking story. We’ll update this post as new information comes in.

Two men have taken a group of as many as 40 people hostage in a Lindt chocolate shop in Sydney, Australia, and have been holding them for several hours. Several hostages may have escaped.

The shop is in Martin Place, less than a mile from the Sydney Opera House, in Sydney’s financial district. The siege began at about 9:45am Monday local time (10:45pm Sunday GMT). At one point, the hostages were apparently forced to display a black flag with what looks like Arabic script on it:

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