2014-12-16 07:55:00

Sydney siege comes to an end

(Vatican Radio) A 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.

A police source named the gunman as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee. He had had been charged last year with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, but had been free on bail.

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

On Monday before the siege ended, Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney offered the prayers of the entire Catholic community for the hostages and their families.

"Two of the greatest attributes of our nation are its atmosphere of ease and safety and its history of harmony between people of different ethnic, religious and political affiliations. Today's incident will test our determination to remain such a society. We must not allow it to turn us on each other or to undermine our sense of security,” the archbishop said.

"At Christmas we look forward to the birth of Jesus as Prince of Peace. Let us pray to him, recalling God's promise to Jeremiah: ‘so call upon me and I will answer you, and lead the hostages to safety’.”

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