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Iran condemns hostage-taking by Iranian refugee in Australia

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Tehran, Dec 16 (IANS/EFE) The Iranian foreign ministry has condemned the hostage-taking by an "Iranian refugee" at a cafe in downtown Sydney which ended with two hostages and the kidnapper dead and four people wounded.

"Resorting to inhumane measures and creating terror in the name of the compassionate religion of Islam is not justified under any circumstance," said ministry spokesman Marzie Afjam in a communique sent to Efe news agency on Monday.

Afjam criticised the information published about the hostage-taker and called it "inexact and incomplete," adding that Iran "on repeated occasions has informed Australian authorities … of the mental and psychological condition of that person".

The man "two decades ago took refuge in Australia and his situation was completely clear to the appropriate authorities of the country (Australia)," said the Iranian spokesman without providing further details.

Man Haron Monis or Sheikh Haron, 50, a self-proclaimed Muslim cleric of Iranian origin, held 17 people hostage for 17 hours in the Sydney cafe from Monday morning.

Haron died along with two hostages as police stormed the site to free the hostages.

The two hostages who died were a 38-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man. Three women and a police officer were wounded.

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