More than 16 hours into the hostage situation in Sydney, a dramatic scene and then an ending: The Sydney Morning Herald's live blog reports that police have confirmed the siege has ended, with CNN adding that the gunman was killed in the joint military-police raid. Police are confirming that two other hostages were killed, and the Morning Herald reports that at least four hostages were taken to the hospital by ambulance.
A Morning Herald reporter about 500 feet from the Lindt Cafe says "the exchange was started by three discrete bangs." As the first was heard around 2am local time, he says approximately five hostages ran from the cafe. "A space followed between the subsequent two [bangs] and then a near-continuous volley rang out. Dozens of shots." Video from Sky News captures a long series of loud gunfire and explosions. (Read more Sydney stories.)