Russian Ambassador, Andrei Karlov was shot while visiting a gallery in the Turkish capital of Ankara. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, Ambassador Karlov has died from his wounds.
Karlov was making a speech on live television when the gunshots first rang out. The shooter, dressed in a suit and standing behind the ambassador, shouted the phrase “Allah Akbar” (God is great in Arabic), as well as “Don’t forget about Aleppo, don’t forget about Syria.” Continuing his rant, the shooter said “Only death will remove me from here. Everyone who has taken part in this oppression will one by one pay for it!”
Three other individuals were wounded during the shooting, according to the AP.
Details emerging from the scene have identified the assassin as an off duty police officer who worked in the capital of Turkey. Reports from the Turkish state media show that the shooter was “neutralized” after firing eight bullets.
Following the attack, Maria Zakharova issued the following statement: “Today in Ankara as a result of an attack, the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkey, Andrey Gennadyevich Karlov, received a wound from which he died. We regard this as a terrorist act.”
US State Department spokesman John Kirby acknowledged the assassination as well, saying “We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
The United Nations also spoke out against the attack. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric condemned the actions of the shooter, saying “There can be no justification for an attack on an ambassador … and we very much hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice”.
Andrei Karlov was 62 years old and was a veteran diplomat. Karlov also served as a Soviet ambassador to North Korea in the 1980s.
Image Credits: Burhan Ozbilici / AP