Russian Ambassador To Turkey Assassinated By Bodyguard
Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, was shot and killed by a gunman in Ankara on Monday.
The gunman supposedly cried out that it was “revenge” for the Russian bombing that killed civilians in Aleppo, said a witness to the Daily Beast.
Karlov was attending an opening of a photography exhibition at a city gallery close to the U.S. Embassy when the incident occurred. The gunman was able to approach him and fired at a close range.
The Daily Beast uprooted that Turkish officials said Karlov was taken to a hospital, but reporters at the exhibit said the ambassador had not been removed from the building.
Russian state media confirmed the ambassador’s death though.
Footage captured on Turkish channel TRT show the ambassador doubling over and collapsing after being shot from behind. The incident occurred just after 7 p.m. local time as Karlov was addressing a crowd from a podium.
The gunman is captured raising a finger and pointing his weapon at unseen targets off-screen.
Witnesses told the Daily Beast that the gunman entered the building as part of Karlov’s security detail or at least by posing as part of it. Turkish media outlets have reported the gunman to be 22-year-old Mert Altintas. The Daily Beast has not yet confirmed his identity though.
Gazeta.ru reported that the gunman allowed people to exit the art gallery after assassinating the ambassador.
At about 1 p.m. EST the Russian Embassy in Turkey tweeted confirmation of the ambassador’s death, shortly after Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu arrived to the scene.
“At 19:50 the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Gennadievich Karlov was taken to Gyuven hospital,” it read, “where we were informed at 20:30 of his death.”
The shooting comes one day before a scheduled meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers to discuss the next steps in the crisis in Syria.
A translation of what the gunman was saying at the time of the attack goes as follows, per the Daily Beast: “Don’t forget Halep [Aleppo]! Don’t forget Syria! Don’t forget Halep! Don’t forget Syria! You will not taste safety unless our fields are safe. Only death can get me out of here. Whoever has a share in this tyranny will pay for it one by one.”
— Грани.Ру (@GraniTweet) December 19, 2016