Monday, 19 December 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Russian Ambassador Shot Dead In Turkey By Gunman Screaming 'We Die In Aleppo, You Die Here'

Turkey's Anadolu Agency said the gunman (pictured) has been 'neutralised'

The Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot in the back and killed while giving a speech at an art gallery on Monday. Turkish security sources said the gunman, who shouted "Don't forget Aleppo", was an off-duty police officer.

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov, which marked one of the most serious spillovers of the Syria conflict. Turkey has struggled with a string of attacks by Islamist and Kurdish militants but the killing of a Russian envoy could have resonance throughout the region.

Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes were instrumental in helping Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. President Tayyip Erdogan, however, has been a vociferous opponent of Assad.

"We regard this as a terrorist act," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. "Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively."

The attacker was smartly dressed in black suit and tie, and standing behind the ambassador as he made his speech at an exhibition, a person at the scene told Reuters.

"He took out his gun and shot the ambassador from behind. We saw him lying on the floor and then we ran out," said the witness, who asked not to be identified.

A video of the horrific attack captures the gunman, dressed in a suit and tie, pacing the gallery while brandishing a gun in one hand and waving the other in the air.   
Meanwhile the US Security Department reported an 'ongoing security incident' outside the US Embassy in Ankara, near to the gallery where the shooting took place.

The gunman (left, in the background) was seen standing behind Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, 62, moments before he opened fire
The gunman (left, in the background) was seen standing behind Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, 62, moments before he opened fire

The fatal attack follows days of protests in Turkey over Russia's role in Syria.
Mr Karlov was shot as he delivered a speech at the opening of an exhibition at the Ankara Center for Contemporary Art, near to the Russian embassy. 
Eyewitnesses told the TASS news agency that several shots were fired and the gunman shouted 'Get out!' 
One pro-Kremlin news website reported that Mr Karlov was shot 11 times.    
Turkey's Anadolu Agency has said the gunman has been 'neutralised'. Photographs taken at the scene show the attacker covered in blood on the ground.

An image of the gunman, lying dead on the floor of the art gallery, was posted on Twitter
An image of the gunman, lying dead on the floor of the art gallery, was posted on Twitter
President Vladimir Putin has been informed of the assassination of his ambassador.
'Today during a public event in Ankara an unknown attacker started firing chaotically, as a result of which the Russian ambassador to Turkey was wounded,' a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said, before Karlov's death was confirmed.

The gunman, who has not yet been identified, was seen brandishing a gun inside the gallery

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr Putin had been informed of the incident and would receive a report from the foreign ministry and intelligence chiefs.
Moscow and Ankara are now working closely together to evacuate citizens from Aleppo but the Russian bombing of the city and the civilian casualties have enraged many Turks and also Syrian refugees in the country. 
Today's shooting comes 24 hours before the Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu is due in Moscow for talks with his Russian and Iranian counterparts.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has condemned the 'cowardly' and 'despicable' murder of Russia's ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov. 

The United States condemns the gun attack on the Russian ambassador to Turkey earlier on Monday, the U.S. State Department said. 
'We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source,' said U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby in a statement, 'Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.' 

The Russian Foreign Ministry vowed that terrorism would not win after the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Turkey.
Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: 'We call this event an act of terror.
'Terrorism will not win.
'We will strongly fight it.' 

She added: 'This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy.
'Today in Ankara in the middle of a public event was Russian Federation Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Gennadyevich Karlov was wounded, and died from his injuries.'
She said: 'We characterise what happened as an act of terrorism. We stay in touch with Turkish officials who assured that the most thorough comprehensive investigation. The murderers will be punished.
'Today the same issue will be raised before UN Security Council. Terrorism will not pass. We will be fighting it strongly.

'The memory of an outstanding Russian diplomat, a man who did a lot to fight terrorism - Andrey Gennadyevich Karlov - will stay in our hearts forever.'
Putin was awaiting reports from his secret service chiefs and foreign ministry on the killing, said his spokesman.

Semen Bagdasarov, expert on Central Asia and Middle East affairs, told that the attack at the photo exhibition is not likely to affect relations between Russia and Turkey.
'It has nothing to do with the activities of the Turkish leadership,' he said.
'What has happened is most likely to be the action of a sole radical-Islamist or a member of the groups liked to those in Aleppo.
'But people who organize trips of Russian people to Turkey must make right conclusions.
'Charter flights must be stopped, the country is occupied by terror.'
Mr Karlov had been a diplomat since 1976.
He worked at  South Korea embassy and was later ambassador to North Korea. 
He was Director of the Consular Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry until his appointment in Ankara in 2013.
Fluent in Korean and English, he is married with a son.

Via - Dailymail

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