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Police: Hostages in deadly Sydney siege appeared 'jovial'

A police official described a group of people being held hostage by a gunman inside a Sydney cafe during a 16-hour ordeal as "jovial," a police commander told an inquest into the deadly siege on Monday.

The cheerful characterization, made during a police briefing 12 hours into the crisis, was at stark odds with the terrifying description the hostages have given of the hours they were held at gunpoint inside the Lindt Cafe in December 2014.

During a coronial inquest on Monday, New South Wales Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins testified that he was told the hostages were "jovial" by an official giving him a handover briefing as Jenkins took over as...