As the Sydney hostage crisis goes, netizens from the Philippines and other parts of the world ask whether or not there are Filipinos being held.
So far, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it is checking if there are Filipino hostages at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe, which is situated in the busy Australian central business district. The location is across a large media network and near the United States Consulate and an Australian bank.
"We are in close contact with our diplomatic posts in Canberra and Sydney in monitoring the unfolding events," DFA spokesman Charles Jose said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Australia in this time of crisis and we hope that this unfortunate predicament will be resolved soon in a peaceful manner."
Live reports from the lockdown zone say an armed man is currently holding at least fifteen people captiveinside the establishment. It was reported earlier that there were around 20 hostages, but five of them managed to escape.
Many believe that the gunman, described by media to be wearing a hat and white long sleeve shirt under a black vest, has connections with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) after a black flag with Arabic script was displayed on one of the cafe's glass windows. Some hostages were spotted holding the flag.
Reports said the banner shown was printed with the Shahada, an Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Mohammed as his prophet.
New South Wales police have not confirmed the number of remaining hostages and the hostage-taker's demands. However, hostages have reportedly been posting his demands on social media. Authorities urged the media not to publicise the alleged demands.
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