Russian Ambassador To Turkey Assassinated
Alexei Karlov speaking at art gallery with assassin in the background.Credit: Tunku Varadarajan/Twitter
December 19, 2016

Andrei Karlov, Russian ambassador to Turkey, has been shot and killed during a speech he was giving at an art gallery in Ankara.

AP reports:

Turkish police fatally shot the gunman, Turkish station NTV reported.

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was several minutes into his speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in the capital, Ankara, when the gunman fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. The attacker also smashed several of the photos hung for the exhibition. There was panic as people ran for cover. NTV said three other people were wounded in the attack.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Karlov was shot "when an unidentified assailant opened chaotic gunfire during a public event in Ankara." She later confirmed he had died. She said Russia was in contact with Turkish officials about the incident.

This is particularly difficult during a time where Russia is trying to repair relations with Turkey over Russian support for Syrian President Bashir Assad.

The assassin has been identified as a Turkish police officer. It was caught on live television. WARNING: Video is graphic.

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