Hostages decided to flee as Sydney gunman began to doze off

Hostages decided to flee as Sydney gunman began to doze off

Iranian-born ISIS sympathiser Man Haron Monis began to doze off in the early hours of today when the hostages decided to escape together and on realising this he opened fire, according to a media report.

Two hostages were killed in the 17-hour-long hostage drama at the Lindt Chocolate cafe in Martin Place here when Monis held 17 people, including two Indians, captive.

It was just after 2 AM local time when a man in a white shirt ran from the front of the cafe with his arms raised and dropped to the ground on police orders and moments later he was followed by two more men and women who also raced to freedom.

As Monis' eyes started to close around 2am today, the hostages realised this may be their best chance to escape their armed captor, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Earlier in the day when five hostages had escaped, in a chilling call to the daily, a hostage from the cafe warned that gunman Monis had vowed to take "an eye for an eye" if any more hostages escaped.

After 17 hours, fake sheikh Monis began to nod off inside the cafe when the 12 remaining hostages staged what in police parlance is a "bomb burst". They all ran together for the exit, the report said.

In those vital last seconds of the siege, Monis "came too and realised what was going on," the daily quoted sources close to the siege as saying.

With his shotgun already in his hands, he began shooting, the report said. Across the road at the Channel Seven offices, a police sniper called out, "Hostage down. Window Two."

It is understood that hostage was hero Tori Johnson, 34, who was killed as he tried to grapple the gun from Monis. "The police were not intending to go in. They were ready but this was not planned," a source was quoted as saying.

Heavily armed police then swooped on the cafe filling it with a barrage of flash bang stun grenades. Two volleys of shots were fired as people inside screamed in terror.

At the end of those furious few moments, gunman Monis was dead. A 34-year-old man, believed to be cafe manager Johnson, and 38-year-old lawyer and mother of three Katrina Dawson also died. A police officer had shotgun pellet wounds to his face.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione warned about speculating about what happened in those crucial few minutes that brought the siege to an end. His thoughts were with the victims. "They're very brave people who in many cases were just buying a cup of coffee and they got caught up in this dreadful affair," he said.

Two Indian nationals -- Vishwakant Ankit Reddy and Pushpendu Ghosh -- were among the hostages involved when Monis began his siege but they escaped safely. 

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