Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov shot dead by police officer in Ankara who shouted ‘Aleppo, revenge’
Russia’s ambassador to Ankara has been shot dead by a Turkish police officer who allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” and “Revenge for Syria,” as he carried out his attack.
Russia’s state news agency said Andrey Karlov, an experienced 62-year old diplomat, died at the scene of gunshot wounds.
The attacker, who has been confirmed as an Ankara-based Turkish police officer but has not been identified, has also been killed.
The attack came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia’s role in Syria, although Moscow and Ankara are now working closely together to evacuate citizens from Aleppo.
Pictures published by the Hurriyet daily showed at least two men in suits lying flat on the ground as another man brandished a gun.
The attack happened at the Cagdas Sanatlar Merkezi, a major art exhibition hall in the Cankaya district of Ankara where most foreign embassies are located including Russia’s mission.
Protesters in Turkey have held Russia responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo.
‘He shouted a few things about Aleppo…then shot the ambassador”
Hasim Kilic, a correspondent with Hurriyet newspaper, was also at the event, writes Laura Pitel.
He said: “It all happened very quickly. As the ambassador took to the lectern to speak, the attacker shouted a few things about Aleppo. People wanted to get out.
“The attacked fired in the air a few times. Then, aiming straight for the ambassdor, he fired four or five shots. As far as I know, the ambassador doesn’t go out and about with security protection. He’s not that kind of ambassador. So he didn’t have any security officers by his side.
“Nor were there any police inside the Modern Arts Centre. The attack shouted some religious slogans as he opened fire. The sound of gunfire continued for about half an hour after everyone escaped.”
Another unnamed witness told the news site Diken: “There was a single attacker. He was wearing a suit. He said to the Russian ambassador: “I’m not going to get out of here alive. And neither are you.” Then he took aim straight at him. We all ran out. The ambassador was motionless on the ground.”
Three others were wounded in attack
Turkey’s interior ministry says three others were wounded in the attack, but none are in serious condition. One of them has already been released.