For further updates, please go here: Rolling coverage: A timeline of the Sydney siege.
This post contains rolling coverage of the situation in Martin Place. Please keep checking back for further updates.
Warning: This post contains distressing images.
The NSW Premier has asked those who work within the exclusion zone around Martin Pl, Sydney, to “work from home” tomorrow.
The Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has repeated the call for anyone who notices suspicious activities to call the National Security Hotline number on 1800 123 400.
In a press conference he has has confirmed that the lights have switched off inside the cafe but refused to answer questions as to why.The exclusion zone
NSW Police have issued another update, stating that “Police are continuing their efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to the situation at Martin Place.”
There are reports of a growing police presence at the scene as the media is being moved back further than before. Another NSW Police press conference is due to be held at 6.30pm AEST.
Recent coverage has shown the recent emergence of a fourth and fifth hostage from the cafe in Martin Place just after 5pm. Both appear to be unharmed, young women wearing Lindt cafe aprons.
These women follow three men who escaped, also unharmed, earlier.
A short time ago Nine News also reported that two hostages had made contact with them, the details of which have since been passed onto the police.
The station has confirmed that these calls were not put to air.
In a press conference held a short time ago, NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn has said that she cannot speculate as to how many people are inside the cafe in Martin Place, where the hostage situation continues to unfold.
“The most important thing is the safety of those hostages,” Ms Burn said. “I can confirm three people have now emerged…. Nobody has been harmed or injured at the moment.”
Deputy Commissioner Burn confirmed that the number of people being held inside the building “is not as high as 30”.
Ms Burn also stated the number one aim is to “resolve this incident peacefully” but that it is okay for people outside the exclusion zone to go about their business as normal. A police perimeter remains in place around Hunter, King and Elizabeth Streets.