Russian ambassador to Turkey dead: Andrey Karlov dies after being shot in Ankara

Russia says it regards the killing 'as a terrorist attack'

Samuel Osborne
Monday 19 December 2016 17:28 GMT
A man gestures near to the body of a man at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey
A man gestures near to the body of a man at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in the capital city of Ankara, the Russian foreign ministry has confirmed.

Andrey Karlov was shot in the back as he made a speech at a photo exhibition in the Turkish capital. Three others were reportedly injured in the attack.

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.

Man shouts 'We die in Aleppo, you die here' after shooting dead Russian ambassador to Turkey

The gunman also reportedly shouted: "We die in Aleppo, you die here."

It was reported the gunman shouted in Turkish: "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!"

He 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."

He 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."

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."

Ankara's mayor said the attack was aimed at ruining Russian-Turkish relations. However, talks between the two countries and Iran, scheduled for Tuesday to discuss Syria, are still expected to go ahead.

Mr 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.

Russian and Turkey have had a tense relationship in recent times, and both support rival factions in the Syrian conflict.

However, after relations reached their lowest point after Turkey shot down a Russian jet in 2015, Ankara and Moscow have made efforts to improve diplomatic links.

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