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Abbott: We face a 'very real threat' from extremists

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned that people face a "very real threat" from extremists.

In a press conference after the 16-hour siege at a café in Sydney, Mr Abbot said there were people with the "will and capability" to carry out terrorist attacks in the country.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned that people face a Credit: APTN

He said he shares people's "outrage" that gunman Man Horan Monis was allowed out on bail despite being implicated in a string of serious offences, and vowed that an investigation would be launched.

But he told reporters that he believed even if Monis had been under 24-hour surveillance, the seige may still have happened.

Abbott condemns 'death cult' after Sydney siege

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has condemned the "appalling and ugly" incident which left two hostages dead after a 16-hour hostage situation in Sydney.

In his first speech since arriving in the city, he said he refused to use the term "Islamic State", referring to it only as a "death cult" with "nothing to do" with any religion.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has condemned the "appalling and ugly" incident Credit: APTN

He also thanked New South Wales Police for their work in ensuring as many of the captives as possible escaped alive as he said it had been "one of the most difficult 36 hours in our history".

Earlier, he visited the scene of the attack where hundreds of people have laid flowers and left messages of condolence.

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Reporter's tears as she realised she knew siege victim

A Channel 7 presenter broke down in tears live on air as she realised she knew one of the victims of the café siege in Sydney.

Natalie Barr, who presents the channel's Sunrise programme, found out that mother-of-three Katrina Dawson - the sister of one of her friends - was among those killed in the 16-hour attack.

Reports claim Ms Dawson, aged 38, was trying to protect her pregnant friend from gunfire when she was shot and killed.

Miss Barr was co-hosting from the scene with fellow presenter David Koch when she realised who the victim was, and had to hand over to her colleague while she composed herself.

Tony Abbott lays flowers for Sydney siege victims

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flown into Sydney to pay his respects to the victims of a 16-hour armed siege at a café in the city.

The PM joined hundreds of others in laying flowers near the site of the attack and stood for a moment in silence, before writing a message of condolence in special books at the scene.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his wife stand in a moment of silence Credit: Reuters
The Prime Minister laid flowers in honour of the two killed Credit: Reuters

Flowers and messages of condolence to Sydney victims

Hundreds of floral tributes have been laid near the café where two people were killed in a 16-hour hostage stand-off in Sydney, which ended with the death of the gunman.

Special trellis tables have also been set up to allow people to write messages of condolence.

Hundreds of floral tributes have been left near the café Credit: Reuters
Special trellis tables have also been set up to allow people to write messages of condolence. Credit: Reuters

Two pregnant women among injured in Sydney siege

Two pregnant women, a 75-year-old and a policeman were among those injured in the café siege in Sydney.

Police have said their officer was hit in the face with shotgun pellets, while the 75-year-old woman was shot in the shoulder.

The two pregnant women were taken to hospital for assessment.

All are said to be in a stable condition.

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'Hero' Sydney siege victims praised at special mass

The two hostages killed in a 16-hour siege in Sydney have been praised as "heroes" at a special mass in the city.

Mother-of-two Katrina Dawson, aged 38, was reportedly trying to protect her pregnant friend from being injured when she was shot and killed.

And the 34-year-old manager of the Lindt café, Tori Johnson, had spotted an opportunity and tried to wrestle the gun away from Iranian refugee Man Horan Monis.

The weapon went off in the struggle, killing Mr Johnson - but it sparked the police surge on the building which saw the remaining hostages rescued alive.

The revelations were made at a special mass at St Mary's Cathedral near the café, held to mark the end of the horror attack.

Meanwhile, president of the New South Wales Bar Association, Jane Needham, has paid tribute to Ms Dawson who worked as a lawyer in the region.

Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends.

– Jane Needham, New South Wales Bar Association

Hundreds attend memorial mass for Sydney siege victims

A special memorial service is being held in Sydney to mark the end of a 16-hour siege which ended with the death of two hostages.

Hundreds of people have gathered at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney for the mass Credit: Reuters

Hundreds of people have gathered at St Mary's Cathedral in the city, around 500 metres from the Lindt café where the attack took place, to pay their respects.

Police: Sydney gunman 'unstable' with 'extremist views'

The 'lone gunman' who held 17 people hostage at a café in Sydney was "unstable" and held "extremist views", police have confirmed.

New South Wales Police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn told media they were not yet sure what the man's motivations might have been, and promised that a wide-ranging investigation would be launched into his movements before the attack.

Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn Credit: Reuters

She refused to comment on questions of why Man Horan Monis had been released on bail after being arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and a string of sex offence allegations.

She confirmed that he had been making demands of police while inside the café.

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