Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov shot dead in Turkey

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A gunman has shot dead Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, apparently in protest at Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.

Several other people were reportedly also injured in the attack, a day after protests in Turkey over Russia’s military intervention in Syria.

According to Russian TV, the ambassador had been attending an exhibition called “Russia as seen by Turks”.

Police later “neutralised” the gunman, reports say, without giving details.

Mr Karlov was rushed to hospital but his death was later confirmed.

US state department spokesman John Kirby said US officials were aware of reports about the attack on the ambassador.

“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

Video of the event shows Mr Karlov making a speech when gunshots ring out.

The gunman after the attack in AnkaraImage copyrightAP
Image captionThe attacker shouted about Aleppo and Syria
People crouch in the exhibition room after the shooting in Ankara, 19 DecemberImage copyrightBURHAN OZBILICI
Image captionPeople crouched in the exhibition room after the shooting
Police secure the area in Ankara, 19 DecemberImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionPolice secured the area after the shooting

The camera pulls back to show a smartly dressed gunman, wearing a suit and tie, waving a pistol and shouting.

He can be heard yelling “Don’t forget about Aleppo, don’t forget about Syria” and uses the Islamic phrase “Allahu Akbar” (God is great).

While there were protests in recent days about the situation in Aleppo, on a political level the Turkish and Russian governments have been co-operating in the ceasefire operation, the BBC’s Turkey correspondent, Mark Lowen, reports.

It is too early to know the motives of the attacker, who has not yet been named. Some reports say he entered the art gallery using a police ID card, our correspondent adds.

 

About Andrei Karlov

Andrei Gennadevich Karlov ( 4 February 1954 – 19 December 2016) was a Russian diplomat. He served as Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey.On 19 December 2016, he was killed by gunfire at a picture exhibition in Ankara.

In 1976, Karlov graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Economic Relations. That same year he joined the diplomatic service. In 1992, he graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry. He was fluent in Korean and from 2001 to 2006 served as Russia’s ambassador to North Korea. He was appointed ambassador to Turkey in July 2013.

Karlov was married, and he had a son.

 

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