Gunman targeted the ambassador at a gallery opening.
A gunman shot Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, in Ankara on Monday at a gallery opening. Reuters has tweeted that Karlov passed away:
BREAKING: Russian ambassador to Turkey dies of gunshot wound – Russian media
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 19, 2016
Hurriyet Daily News reported:
Hürriyet Ankara representatvice Deniz Zeyrek said the attacker first shot into the air and later shot the envoy in the back.
He shot the envoy for the second time after the scene was evacuated. It has also been reported that the attacker entered the scene by showing a police identity and wearing a suit.
The attacker reportedly shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria! As long as our brothers are not safe, you will not enjoy safety” according to a footage released on Dutch website nos.nl.
“Whoever has a share in this oppression will pay for it one-by-one,” he added.
“Only death will take me away from here.”
He also recited “God is great” before talking in Turkish.
— David Mack (@davidmackau) December 19, 2016
— Conflict News (@Conflicts) December 19, 2016
Karlov was shot by a gun while making a speech at a photography exhibition in the Turkish capital, the embassy said, adding that it believed that it was a radical Islamist attack.
The attack comes one day beforeTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu heads to Moscow for talks on Syria with his Russian and Iranian counterparts, Sergei Lavrov and Javad Zarif, respectively.
Çavuşoğlu was on the plane to Moscow during the time of the attack.
Private broadcaster CNN Türk said Karlov was in a critical state.
Meanwhile, private broadcaster NTV said three other persons were also injured in the attack. The channel also reported that the attacker was shot dead later in a police operation at the scene.
The three wounded people were taken to Güven Hospital in central Ankara, reporters said but did not confirm whether the envoy was among them.
Fox News reported that officials identified the assassin as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Alintas and he worked “as a Turkish special forces police officer” for over two years.
Turkish citizens have recently protested against the “Russian and Iranian involvement in the siege of Aleppo.” The Guardian reported:
Up to 800 people joined the demonstration, with some chanting “Aleppo is the world’s shame” outside the Iranian embassy before protesting at the Russian embassy.
Protesters held flags of the Syrian opposition as well as placards saying: “Massacre in Aleppo, theatre at the UN”, according to an AFP photographer at the scene.
A day earlier, more than 1,000 people had gathered outside the Iranian consulate in Istanbul to demonstrate over what they said was a “massacre in Aleppo”.
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