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Terrified Hostages Flee Siege at Sydney's Lindt Cafe

11 PHOTOS

People cross police tape near the scene of a siege in Martin Place, in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, on Dec. 15. A suspected Islamist gunman took hostages inside a Lindt chocolate shop and cafe on Monday. Five hostages managed to flee the building, but an unknown number remained inside the cafe.

Joel Carrett / AAP
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A police officer runs across Martin Place near the Lindt Cafe.

David Gray / X00503
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Police secure the scene near the Lindt Cafe in Sydney's Martin Place. Major landmarks in the city, including the Sydney Opera House, were evacuated as police responded to a hostage situation.

Don Arnold / Getty Images AsiaPac
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Two hostages, left, run to safety outside the Lindt Cafe. The first hostages to emerge were three men, who ran out of side exits toward armed police. An hour or so later, two women ran out.

Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images AsiaPac
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Two hostages run for cover behind a policeman after running out of the Lindt Cafe.

William West / AFP
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People presumed to be hostages hold up a flag with Arabic writing in the window of the Lindt Cafe. Chris Reason, a journalist with NBC News' Australian partner Channel 7, said the hostage-taker was "forcing them to stand against windows, sometimes two hours at a time." He added that the suspect seemed to be "getting extremely agitated" after the five hostages left.

Channel Seven / AFP
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One of the hostages runs towards police after fleeing the cafe.

Saeed Khan / AFP
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A fleeing woman, who appeared to be a member of staff at the cafe, runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after escaping.

Rob Griffith / AP
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A woman is bundled around a corner to safety by police officers. Authorities wouldn't say whether the hostages had escaped or were freed by the gunman, but they dashed out of the cafe in panic.

Rob Griffith / AP
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Police confer on Philip Street, near the Lindt Cafe.

Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images AsiaPac
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Construction workers gather in front of the Sydney Opera House after being evacuated.

Joosep Martinson / Getty Images AsiaPac
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