World leaders have responded to the unfolding siege in Sydney’s Martin Place.
Heads of state from the UK, Canada, India and New Zealans have taken to Twitter to express their concerns for those involved in the incident at the Lindt chocolate store where tactical police teams are still at the scene.
Both Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and US President Barack Obama have recieved briefings on the situation but are yet to release official statements.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said earlier today “we have to realise there are people who wish to do us harm”.
“This is a very disturbing incident and I understand the concerns and anxiety of Australian people … There is almost nothing more distressing and terrifying.”
“The whole point of politically motivated violence is to scare people out of being themselves,” Abbott said. “Australia is a peaceful open and generous society. Nothing should ever change that.
“I would urge all Australians today to go about their business as usual.”
So far five hostages have left the location, believed to have escaped rather than be released.
The numbers of those who remain captive are still unknown.
Here are some of the few responses on Twitter from world leaders.
I was briefed overnight on the siege in Sydney. It's deeply concerning and my thoughts are with all those caught up in it.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) December 15, 2014
The incident in Sydney is disturbing. Such acts are inhuman & deeply unfortunate. I pray for everyone's safety.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 15, 2014
I’ve contacted Prime Minister @TonyAbbottMHR to let him know our thoughts are with the people of Australia today.
— John Key (@johnkeypm) December 15, 2014
— Stephen Harper (@pmharper) December 15, 2014
We are being tested today in Sydney. But whatever the test, we will face it head-on. And we will remain a strong, democratic, civil society.
— Mike Baird (@mikebairdMP) December 15, 2014
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