Two civilians and the gunman are reported to have been killed after police stormed the Sydney cafe where dozens of people had been held hostage for 16 hours, according to unconfirmed reports.
Queensland police said that a 34-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were killed in the incident, as well as a 50-year-old man who is believed to be the gunman.
Another man, who was 50, also died. He is believed to be the gunman, named as Iranian-born radical cleric Man Haron Monis.
Paramedics could be seen on Australian television news carrying stretchers and treating at least one person for injuries after a series of loud explosions and gunshots were heard as police moved in.
Sydney’s central business district has been on lock-down since the gunman entered the Lindt Chocolate Cafe and took staff and customers hostage at around 09:40 this morning local time (22:40 GMT).
Australia’s 7 News is reporting seven people carried away on stretchers, with five being treated by paramedics as they were being moved.
The Guardian‘s Helen Davidson says that a bomb disposal robot is now going into the building.
New South Wales Police declared the siege over on Twitter, saying:
“Sydney siege is over. More details to follow.”