National | Sydney

Tributes and tears flow for victims of Sydney siege

An online movement supporting Muslim across Australia, called #Illridewithyou has taken off on social media, following the potential risk of an anti-Muslim backlash.

This came after the actions of gunman Man Horan Monis' who took 17 people hostage in a central Sydney cafe.

Tears flowed as family, friends and everyday Australians payed their respects.

One man said "I think it's sad that we have people who can make the choice of choosing between good and evil and decide to go with evil"

Police confirm 17 people were taken hostage by 50-year-old Man Horan Monis,  an Iranian refugee and reports reveal he was on bail for being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, Noleen Hayson Pal.

The 16-hour siege ended the lives of prominent barrister Katrina Dawson and Lindt manager Tori Johnson and eventually the gunman and hostage-taker.

A member of the public stated "We never thought this would happen so close to home and not just the ones who lost their lives but the ones who have got out and have to now live with this, just want to show and pay our respects".

Uncertainty around Monis' intentions and fears of anti-Muslim backlash has now prompted hundreds of thousands of people to offer support for Australia's Muslim community, through an online thread called #Illridewithyou that has gone viral.

Sadness still rocks Australia, with its Government looking at it's biggest question, whether Monis' horrific actions could have been avoided.

Te Kāea will bring you more on this on tonight's bulletin at 5:30pm and 7pm with subtitles.

(Footage and interviews included in this story courtesy of NITV)