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Three hostages run out of Sydney siege cafe: police

Two hostages (left) run for cover behind a policeman (right) during a hostage siege in the central business district of Sydney on December 15, 2014.

Latest update: Sydney siege man demands IS flag, says 4 bombs in the cityFive hostages run out of Sydney siege cafe

[SYDNEY] Three people ran out of a Sydney cafe where a gunman has taken hostages and displayed an Islamic flag against the window, police said Monday, adding that no one has yet been harmed.

The hostages appeared to come out of a side door of the Lindt chocolate cafe which was being watched by heavily armed police, almost six hours after the standoff began.

"Three people have now emerged from the location in Martin Place," New South Wales police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn said, referring to the central business district location.

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"The first thing we will do is make sure they are okay.

"We will work with these people to figure out more information. We do not have information to suggest that anyone is harmed at this stage." Police said they did not have precise figures on how many hostages remained in the building but Ms Burn said "it is not as high as 30" as some reports had suggested.

She added that police negotiators "have had contact and continue to have contact" with the person holding the hostages but they still did not know the motivation for the siege.