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According to Channel 9 news in Sydney  What we know so far about the Martin Place hostage situation as of 9:50PM EST

  • Thirteen hostages held hostage in Lindt cafe in Martin Place • Hostages forced to hold up black flag with Arabic script in the windows (it is not the official ISIL banner)
  • One gunman armed with shotgun, handgun or both 
  • Unconfirmed radio reports have claimed the perpetrator has demanded to speak to Prime Minister Tony Abbott and claimed to have planted four explosive devices across Sydney
  •  The federal government’s National Security Committee has convened for briefings on the situation 
  •  Thousands of people have been evacuated from buildings in the surrounding area 
  •  Reports that raids are being carried out in Lakemba are incorrect 
  • Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called on all Australians to stay calm
  •  Workers at nearby businesses have been advised to go home for the day 
  • Reports Jewish schools and institutions across the country in lockdown 
  • All Sydney CBD courts are closed for the day