The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot at a contemporary art centre in the capital of Ankara today, 19 December. Andrei Karlov was shot in the back as he was giving a speech at the opening of a photography exhibition sponsored by the embassy.
The attack is thought to be a protest against Russia’s military intervention in Syria. A video of the incident shows a man in a suit and tie wielding a gun, shouting: “Don’t forget about Aleppo, don't forget about Syria”. The gunman can also be heard saying “Allahu Akbar” several times.
At least three others were wounded when an unnamed gunman shot the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey (Image: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
According to an AP photographer in the audience at the Contemporary Arts Center, the gunman fired at least eight shots at the ambassador, who was rushed to hospital. Karlov's death was later confirmed by Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, who said the envoy had died in a terrorist attack.
Karlov had been attending the launch of an exhibition called Russia as seen by Turks. At least three other people are believed to have been wounded in the attack.
Although the motives for the attack remain unknown, reports say the gunman used police ID to enter the art gallery, allowing him to get close to the ambassador. The assailant was killed after a shootout with Turkish Special Forces police, according to the Turkish television news station NTV.