Russian ambassador shot dead – as it happened: Andrey Karlov assassinated at Ankara photo exhibition

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Andrey Karlov was shot in the back as he made a speech

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The Independent Online

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in the capital city of Ankara. Andrey Karlov was shot in the back as he made a speech at a photo exhibition in the Turkish capital.

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Read our liveblog of the aftermath of the attack as it happened

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Russian ambassador to Turkey 'shot dead'

The IndependentThe Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in the capital city of Ankara, Russian news agencies report. Andrey Karlov was shot in the back as he made a speech at a photo exhibit in the Turkish capital. Mr Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted "Allahu akbar" and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. 
Russia's foreign ministry have confirmed Andrey Karlov has died after being shot in Ankara.
 
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the announcement in a live televised statement. 
 
The attack comes as Russia, Iran and Turkey planned to meet in Moscow to discuss Syria on Tuesday.
 
Russia and Iran have backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has supported opposition groups fighting the regime.

Russia regards assassination of ambassador as 'act of terrorism'

The IndependentRussia has said it regards the killing of its ambassador to Ankara "as a terrorist attack". Andrey Karlov was shot in the back as he made a speech at a photo exhibit in the Turkish capital.

Russia has said it regards the killing of its ambassador to Ankara "as a terrorist attack".

"Today in Ankara as a result of an attack, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkey, Andrey Gennadyevich Karlov, received a wound from which he died," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"We regard this as a terrorist act."

Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek told reporters outside the exhibition center the "heinous" attack was aimed to disrupt newly-re-established relations between Turkey and Russia.

Andrey Karlov was 62 and joined the diplomatic service in 1976. He served as Russia's ambassador to Pyongyang in 2001-2006, and later worked as the chief of the Foreign Ministry's consular department. 

He had served as the ambassador to Turkey since 2013.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson condemned the shooting as a "cowardly attack," which he described as a "despicable murder".
Talks about the future of Syria involving Russia, Iran and Turkey will go ahead in Moscow on Tuesday despite the murder of the Russian ambassador to Ankara, the Interfax news agency reports.
The United Nations has condemned the killing of the Russian ambassador to Ankara.

"We condemn the gun attack on the Russian ambassador to Turkey. There can be no justification for an attack on a diplomat or an ambassador," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
 
"We hope that the perpetrator will be brought to justice." 
The gunman who shot the Russian ambassador was a police officer who worked in the Turkish capital, two security sources have told Reuters.
US State Department spokesman John Kirby said: "We have seen reports that the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov and others have been attacked by a gunman in Ankara.
 
"We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

Man who shot Russian ambassador to Turkey 'was police officer'

The IndependentThe gunman who shot the Russian ambassador to Turkey in an attack at an art gallery was an off-duty police officer who worked in the Turkish capital, two security sources have said. Russia's foreign ministry earlier confirmed that the ambassador, Andrey Karlov, had died in the attack. Turkish state media earlier reported that the gunman had been "neutralised" following the attack. This article will be updated shortly
The gunman shouted in Turkish "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!" 
 
The man then yelled: "Stand back! Stand back! Only death will take me out of here. Anyone who has a role in this oppression will die one by one." 
The attacker is believed to have used his official identification to enter the art gallery, before opening fire on the ambassador as he gave a speech.

It was unclear whether he was on or off duty at the time of the shooting.

He fired at least eight shots, according to an Associated Press photographer in the audience. 
Russian tourists in Turkey have been advised to avoid crowded places following the attack.
The attacker also shouted "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great" and continued in Arabic: "We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad, for jihad."
Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately after the assassination.

Mr Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted "Allahu akbar" and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. 

Mr Karlov died of his wounds, Russia's state-run RIA news agency reported, citing an unnamed source.

There was no official confirmation of the death from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Turkish police shot and killed the gunman, Turkey's NTV reported. 

Russia has said it regards the killing of its ambassador to Ankara "as a terrorist attack".

"Today in Ankara as a result of an attack, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkey, Andrey Gennadyevich Karlov, received a wound from which he died," foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"We regard this as a terrorist act."

Mr Karlov had represented Russia in the country since 2013.