The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, is dead after a gunman opened fired during an art gallery opening in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara.
According to video captured by Turkish television networks, the gunman began screaming after shooting the ambassador. He is believed to have said, “We die in Aleppo, you die here,” and “Allahu Akbar.”
Warning: video contains graphic content.
— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) 19 December 2016
“This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, adding that Russia considered it an “act of terror.” Russian President Putin was informed about the assassination.
The gunman was identified by a Turkish journalist as Mert Altintas, a Turkish police officer who was serving on the ambassador’s security detail. He can be seen in many pictures from the event standing behind the ambassador.
— kahraman haliscelik (@turkishreporter) 19 December 2016
Moments after the shooting, Turkish special forces “neutralized” the assailant, according to state-run news agency Anadolu. Karlov was transported to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
“Turkey reset relations with Russia this summer after the two broke off its diplomatic ties last year over Russia’s intervention on behalf of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad,” says a report from the Wall Street Journal.
AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici continued his work in the face of this. pic.twitter.com/mGdH37ZMei
— Micah Grimes (@MicahGrimes) 19 December 2016