Sydney Seige: No Indian Among Hostages inside Chocolate Cafe

New Delhi, Dec 15: The Sydney cafe siege disturbed the Indian government today morning as the concern grew more about the safety of Indian cricket team that is in Australia for the test tournament. However, Indian consulate in Sydney confirmed that there are no Indians inside the Lindt cafe, where around 40-50 hostages are held by a gunman since morning.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to microblogging site Twitter to describe the incident as disturbing. "The incident in Sydney is disturbing. Such acts are inhuman & deeply unfortunate. I pray for everyone's safety", he posted.

The Indian Home Ministry called an emergency meeting in the wake of the hostage crisis in Sydney. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to the Indian envoy in Canberra on hostage crisis in Sydney and was briefed about incident.
India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is monitoring situation in Sydney in view of Indian cricket team's ongoing Australia tour. Meanwhile, security of Indian cricketers has been beefed up in Brisbane.

For those seeking information about Indians in Sydney, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin has tweeted on the Twitter. "In case of queries about Indian nationals following events in Sydney contact Dr Vinod Bahade Dy Consul General at phone +61 481 453550", he posted.

According to latest update, five persons including two customers, one cafe employee and two women were seen running out of the building where the hostages are counting the time for rescue by the security forces.

In a statement, New South Wales state police says: "Police are dealing with an armed incident and specialist officers are attempting to make contact with those inside a cafe."

Reports say anywhere between a dozen and 50 people were in the Lindt cafe. Several are seen with their arms in the air. TV pictures are showing a flag - black with white Arabic writing - held to a window by customers at Lindt chocolate cafe. It appears to be the shahada, or profession of faith in Islam, and says: "There is no god but Allah; Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah."

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