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The moment that ended 16 hours of terror 15/12/2014 Alex Nicholson

The siege which paralysed Sydney’s CDB ended with explosions and volleys of gunshots as heavily armed commandos stormed the café held by Islamic hate preacher Sheik Man Haron Monis.

Heavily armed Special Operations Group officers burst into the building after hearing gunshots from inside Lindt Cafe just after 2am, smashing a glass door and lobbing stun grenades.

In the confusion more hostages ran from the building with their hands in the air and another woman was carried out screaming and crying by officers from Police Rescue.

Some hostages flung themselves to the ground with arms spread to prove they weren't a threat and were then whisked away by police.

The flower memorial site at Martin Place where the community have come to pay their respects. Sydney siege in pictures

A bomb disposal robot then entered the café to search for explosives.

In the end, the rescue operation to end the 16-hour siege took only minutes.

Police have confirmed three people are dead gunman Man Monis, 50, a 34-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman.

At least four people were injured and have been taken to hospital, including a police officer who suffered a facial wound.

One woman has reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder while another was shot in the leg.

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