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Sydney hostage crisis in pictures

Sydney siege

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The 16-hour Sydney hostage crisis came to a tragic end in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Two hostages, along with the Islamist gunman, were killed after police stormed a café in Sydney at around 2:10am local time.

The 50-year-old Iranian captor, who had taken 17 people hostage inside the Lindt chocolate cafe located in the city's business district, was Man Haron Monis – a self-proclaimed "spiritual healer" who was granted political asylum in Australia in 1996.

The two hostages who died were identified as 34-year-old Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson and 38-year-old Sydney lawyer Katrina Dawson.

Six people were injured, including three women and a police officer who are being treated for gunshot wounds.

Click ahead to view images of how the siege unfolded overnight.

Hostages run for safety

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Hostages, trapped for 16 hours, run with their hands up as police stormed the cafe.

Rescuing the injured

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One of the six people injured in the siege is carried out of the cafe.

Heading for the hospital

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Another is taken out on a stretcher.

Police escort hostage

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A policeman and a paramedic accompany a hostage away from the scene.

Explosive detection

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An anti-explosives robot sits outside the cafe during a hostage standoff. Police later confirmed that no explosive devices were found at the site.

On stand-by

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Fire fighters and paramedics wait as armed police carry out an operation inside the cafe.

The morning after

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Commuters return to work on Tuesday. Sydney's central business district had been on lockdown after the siege unfolded Monday, forcing the evacuation of nearby offices.

Paying respects

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Crowds congregate at Martin Place to lay flowers for the victims who died in the siege.

Showing solidarity

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Abdul Rahman and Sam Tiger, devout Muslims from the Macarthur region who had earlier come into the city to pray for the hostages, pose on Philip Street, near the café.

After the siege began, Australians took to social media to show solidarity with the Muslim community using the Twitter hashtag "I'll ride with you", offering to accompany Muslims - concerned about an anti-Islam backlash - on public transport. Sydney is home to around half of the country's 500,000 Muslims, with many commuting into the city for work.