Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov has been shot dead by an armed assailant in the Capital Ankara. The ambassador was addressing at a Russian photo exhibition while he came under attack. According to reports, several other people were also injured in the gun attack.
The assailant, wearing a back suit and tie appeared on the stage and started shooting at the ambassador. He fired at least eight shots while reciting verses from the Holly Quran. Initial reports said the Russian envoy was wounded and hospitalized and he scummed to his injuries.
“The ambassador was delivering a speech at the opening of the exhibition, and suddenly, during his speech, there was a shriek ‘Allahu Akbar!’ It is likely that the attack was aimed at the Ambassador because after the shots were made the assailant let those present escape the room.” — an eyewitness told RIA Novosti, a Russian domestic news agency.
The attacker who was shot dead by the police is identified as 22 year old Mevlut Mert Altintas. Preliminary investigations revealed that Mevlut himself was a police officer. Police has also seared and arrested the family of the attacker including his father, mother and sister.
Turkish newspaper Hurriyet has identified the killer as off-duty police officer who was a member of Erdogan’s security team. According to the report, Mevlut served five times as the security guard of the country’s president since July 5.
Turkish foreign ministry said that it has informed the U.S. government over Fethullah Gulen’s possible involvement in the assassination. Gulen is a self-exiled Turkish cleric who was also blamed by the Turkish government as the primary orchestrator of the failed July coup.
Iran condemns the assassination as ‘Barbarous
In a statement issued later in the evening, Iran’s foreign ministry has condemned the assault as ‘barbarous’. Spokesman for the country’s foreign ministry Bahram Qasimi stressed to deal terror through unity among states and fight free of double standards.
“This criminal act indicates that terrorists affiliated to extremist and Takfiri groups are not bound by any standards, principles or the international law. They are carrying out such brutal measures with the purpose of creating conflict among countries and [spreading] ever more insecurity and instability in the region,” Bahram said.