Turkish policeman kills Russian envoy in Ankara

ANKARA, Turkey: In what Moscow said as an “act of terrorism,” the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot dead by a Turkish policeman in the Capital Ankara on Monday.

The attack took place when the Russian envoy was delivering a speech on the opening of the exhibition “Russia in the eyes of Turks” at the Cagdas Sanatlar Merkezi, an art gallery in Ankara.

Besides the Russian ambassador, three other persons were also shot at and injured in the attack.

In response to the gun attack, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that “This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy. Today, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov died after being shot at during a public event in Ankara.”

The spokesperson said that the assault on the Russian ambassador is an “act of terrorism,” she added.

The attacker was wearing a suit and tie and while he fired upon the Russian envoy, he shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is great’ in Arabic). He also shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria.”

However, the attacker, who according to the Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek was identified as a Turkish police officer, was killed by Turkish Special Forces. 

Meanwhile, the United States condemned the attack on the Russian envoy and expressed sympathies with the victims and their families.

“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” the US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said in a twitter message.

The French President Francois Hollande also strongly condemned the assassination of the Russian ambassador.

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