ANKARA, Turkey – Russian ambassador to Turkey dies of gunshot wound -Russian media, told Reuters.
(RT) The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot by a gunman in Ankara, where he was attending a photo exhibition, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed.
“An unknown person opened fire during a public event in Ankara. As a result, the Russian ambassador to Turkey received a gunshot wound,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told journalists.
According to the latest information from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Karlov is now being treated on the spot and was not taken to a local hospital, as reported earlier.
The ambassador, Andrey Karlov, was injured after he was about to deliver a speech on the opening of the exhibition “Russia in the eyes of Turks.”
Photos purportedly showing the perpetrator bearing a firearm are now increasingly circulating on social media. Users are also posting pictures which they say show the Russian ambassador lying on the ground after having been shot.
The Russian ambassador to Ankara was wounded Monday in a gun attack in the Turkish capital, the foreign ministry in Moscow confirmed, with the Kremlin saying President Vladimir Putin had been informed.
“Today during a public event in Ankara an unknown attacker started firing chaotically, as a result of which the Turkish ambassador in Russia was wounded,” Russian news agencies cited spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Zakharova added that medics were trying to treat the envoy at the scene but that shooting continued, retracting an earlier report that he was taken to hospital.
Karlov was hospitalised and several other people were wounded, the NTV and CNN-Turk news stations reported. CNN-Turk said the ambassador was in serious condition.
“Today, during a public event, an unknown person opened fire chaotically,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement. “As a result, Andrey Karlov, the ambassador to Turkey, received a gunshot wound.”
The attack happened at the Cagdas Sanatlar Merkezi, a major art exhibition hall in the Cankaya district of Ankara where most foreign embassies are located, including the Russian mission.
Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored event when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. The attacker also spoke in Russian and smashed several of the photos hung for the exhibition.
Some witnesses reported that the attacker also yelled “Aleppo” and “Revenge”.
Pictures published by the Hurriyet daily showed at least two men in suits lying on the ground as another man brandished a gun.
Zakharova said that Moscow was in touch with Turkish authorities about the attack.
Moscow and Ankara are currently working closely together after striking a deal on evacuating citizens from the Syrian city of Aleppo. The foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran are due to meet in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the crisis.
Turkey and Russia saw relations plunge to their worst levels since the Cold War last year when a Turkish jet shot down a Russian war plane over Syria. But a reconciliation deal was signed earlier this year, and despite being on opposing sides in the Syria conflict – with Ankara backing the rebels trying to topple Moscow ally President Bashar al-Assad – relations have recently been on the mend.