Australian PM Says Proud of Police Response to Hostage-Taking in Sydney

© Images / Peter RaeAustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott - Sputnik International
Tony Abbott, Australia's Prime Minister stated that he was proud of how the police responded to the Monday the hostage-taking incident in Sydney.

This image taken from video shows people holding up what appeared to be a black flag with white Arabic writing on it, inside a cafe in Sydney, Australia Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW, December 15 (Sputnik) Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he is proud of how the police responded to the Monday the hostage-taking incident in Sydney.

"I'm proud of the way police and security bodies have responded to the disturbing events [hostage-taking] today," Abbott posted on Twitter.

The prime minister also added that the National Security Committee was briefed by Michael Bruce Baird, premier of New South Wales and minister for Western Sydney, and by NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione on the situation in Martin Place, the city's central business district.

Armed police stand at the ready close to a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 - Sputnik International
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"It's been a difficult day, which has tested us, but like Australians in all sorts of situations, we have risen to the challenge," Abbott added.

Earlier in the day, Abbott called the incident "obviously deeply concerning," adding that Australian law enforcement and security agencies, being well-trained and professional, adequately responded to the situation.

At about 10 a.m. (23:00 GMT, Sunday), an unidentified gunman took  the staff and about 30 customers of the Lindt cafe hostage in Sydney. The suspect was reportedly carrying a backpack and a device that looked similar to a suicide belt. Several hostages have managed to escape so far.

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