2014-12-16 13:23:00

Authorities seek answers after Sydney siege

(Vatican Radio) Australian authorities are investigating the motives behind a hostage situation in Sydney which has left three people dead and several others injured.

Listen to Ann Schneible’s report:

The sixteen-hour siege in Sydney, Australia in which two captives and the attacker were killed came to an end early Tuesday morning when police stormed the café where the hostages were being held.

The two hostages killed were a 34 year old man, Tori Johnson, and 38 year old Katrina Dawson, a mother of three. Several others were wounded, including a policeman.

A police source named the gunman as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee.

Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher offered Mass for the victims and families in St. Mary’s Cathedral on Tuesday just two blocks away from the café where the siege took place.

The archbishop called for “continuing prayer for peace, healing and generosity to our neighbours after this tragic event, in solidarity with people of all faiths in our blessed city of Sydney and country of Australia.”

In his homily Archbishop Fisher also cautioned against “jumping to conclusions and pointing fingers” before more is known about the perpetrator.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbot spoke to the press about why the gunman was not on the country’s terrorist watchlist.

“How can someone who has had such a long and checkered history not be on the appropriate watchlists? And how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community?”

Monis is known for sending hate mail to the families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan. He was charged last year with being an accessory to the murder of his
ex-wife but had been free on bail.

“These are questions that we need to look at carefully, and calmly, and methodically to learn the right lessons, and to act upon them,” Abbot said.

So far 17 hostages have been accounted for, including at least five who were released or escapedon Monday.

All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.