A Turkish policeman crying “Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” shot dead Russia’s ambassador to Turkey at an art exhibition in Ankara on Monday, in what Moscow termed a “terrorist act”.
Andrei Karlov died of his wounds after the shooting, which occurred on the eve of a key meeting between the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers on the Syria conflict.
Dramatic television footage showed the man — dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and tie — waving a gun and gesturing in the air at the Ankara exhibition hall where the veteran diplomat was opening a show of Russian photographs.
The state-run Anadolu news agency said the gunman had been “neutralised” in a police operation inside the hall after 15 minutes of clashes.
“Today in Ankara as a result of an attack the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov received wounds that he died from,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in televised comments.
“We qualify what happened as a terrorist act,” she added. “The murderers will be punished.
“Today this issue will be raised at the UN Security Council. Terrorism will not win out,” she added.
The mayor of Ankara Melih Gokcek identified the attacker as a Turkish policeman. The Yeni Safak daily said on its website that the attacker — named as M.M.A. — worked with anti-riot police in Ankara.
Gokcek, known for his outspoken comments, speculated on his official Twitter account that the policeman may be linked to the group of Fethullah Gulen blamed for the July 15 coup aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.