Gunshots rang out as police stormed a Sydney, Australia, café where Man Haron Monis, a self-styled Iranian Islamic cleric, took around 30 people hostage earlier Monday morning, Sydney time. An unconfirmed number of hostages have fled the café, most recently as police began their assault, according to the Associated Press.
At least four people were brought out on stretchers, according to Sky News, while another five hostages fled the place on foot. Monis claimed there were at least two bombs in the café and two in surrounding areas. Police negotiators were working through the night, according to Australian media, but experts say Australian police were forced to act because hostages were in grave danger.
UPDATE 10:48 a.m. EDT: Police announced the hostage situation is "over," reported the AP.
BREAKING: Police say Sydney cafe hostage situation is over after more than 16 hours.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 15, 2014
Sky News is covering the developments live: