Tuesday, 20 December 2016
ANKARA: The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday by an off-duty police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire.
The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov, calling it a “terrorist act”.
Relations between Moscow and Ankara have long been strained over the conflict in Syria, with the two support opposing sides in the war.
Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes helped Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. Turkey, which has long sought Assad’s ouster, has been repairing ties with Moscow after shooting down a Russian warplane over Syria last year.
The gunman was a off-duty police officer. The attacker was smartly dressed in black suit and tie and stood, alone, behind the
ambassador as he made a speech at the art exhibition.
He paced about and shouted as he held the gun in one hand and waved the other in the air. A Reuters cameraman at the scene said gunfire rang out for some time after the attack. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency said the gunman had been “neutralised”, apparently killed.
Another photograph showed four people and the ambassador lying on the floor.
It was not clear whether the gunman was a lone operator, driven perhaps by popular discontent over Russian action in Syria or affiliated to a group like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has carried out a string of bomb attacks in Turkey in the last year.
Whichever is the case, the incident raises concerns about a police force currently being purged after a failed July coup.
Source by: Internet