Central Sydney is on lockdown after gunmen took up to 40 people Australian hostage Hostage Crisis at a busy café on Monday morning.
Hostages have been forced to hold a flag with Arabic writing in the window of the café and have been seen pressing their hands against the windows.
A police media spokeswoman confirmed that officers are attending the scene and an operation was underway surrounding the Lindt Chocolate cafe.
According to local radio, the gunmen have told police negotiators that they have planted “devices” all around Sydney and demanded to talk to Prime Minister Tony Abbott live on the radio.
The Prime Minsiter has released a statement calling the crisis “deeply concerning” but expressed confidence that Australian authorities could handle the situation.
All trains have been shut down near the area, and police officers with guns drawn have now surrounded the cafe.
Police have also evacuated the Sydney Opera House.
Prime Minister Abbot is expected to hold a press conference momentarily