Reuters reports that hostages are being held inside a café in Sydney where a black flag with white Arabic writing is seen through the window, similar to those used by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. "Australia, which is backing the United States and its escalating action against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, is on high alert for attacks by radicalized Muslims or by home-grown fighters returning from fighting in the Middle East."
The café is located in Sydney’s Martin Place – the centre of business and finance which is close to the New South Wales state parliament. Live television footage shows the hostages “standing with their hands pressed against the windows.”
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