The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot and killed today while delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of an art exhibit in Ankara.
Ambassador Andrey Karlov was confirmed to be dead moments ago, original reports said he was seriously injured, and 3 onlookers were injured. The lone gunman was identified as an off duty Turkish police officer and reportedly yelled “Allahu Akbar ” and “We die in Aleppo, you die here!”
In a video circulating on social media that shows the shooting of the ambassador, the gunman is heard shouting, “Allahu akbar (God is great).
“Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria! Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!”
“Get back! Get back!” the man can be heard shouting in Turkish as he waves a gun.
“Only death will remove me from here. Everyone who has taken part in this oppression will one by one pay for it,” he said.
It was confirmed that the shooter was an off duty cop and was working security at the art gallery opening event.
Gunman who shot & killed Russian ambassador to Turkey was off-duty police officer, Ankara mayor sayshttps://t.co/PSWITEObu1
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 19, 2016
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said its ambassador shot in Turkey had died in what it called a terrorist attack https://t.co/RIr4xxmHs2
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 19, 2016
The gunman’s name has been identified as Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş. This shooting comes only a day after protests in Turkey erupted over Russia’s support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and their latest success in Aleppo. Witnesses quickly ran as the gunman continued shouting and waving his pistol in the air.
Witnesses were heard screaming in terror as they ran out of the art gallery, and the gunman was heard shouting slogans as he pointed his finger in the air and pointed his gun towards the fleeing crowd.
Photos and video published online by Turkish media showed Mr Karlov and a second person on the floor after being shot at the opening of a photography exhibition called “Russia in the Eyes of Turks”.
Three others were reportedly wounded as the shooting continued and people fled for their lives.
The gunman, who has been neutralized, was apparently angered over Russia’s progress against the jihadi rebels who have been waging a non-stop civil war in Syria for the past 4 years. The Russians along with the Syrian government’s forces had just recently made significant progress in routing the rebels from Aleppo, and have all but taken the city.
Video of the incident was taken by one of the witnesses who was taping the Russian ambassador giving his speech. At the start you can hear two bangs, although they aren’t that loud in the video, while seeing the ambassador flinch and quickly drop the floor.
The gunman then goes on his rant, of course getting a “Allahu Akbar ” in there as every radical Islamic terrorist does, and effectively stating his reason for the shooting, which is his anger of the Russian/Syrian victories against jihadist in Aleppo.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.