The Russian ambassador to Ankara died of his wounds following a shooting attack at an art gallery in the Turkish capital on Monday, the Russian RIA news agency reported.
Hurriyet newspaper’s English website said Ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot while making a speech and that Turkish special forces had surronded the building. NTV said three other people were also wounded in the attack.
The attack came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia’s role in Syria.
Protesters in Turkey have held Moscow responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo.
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 Russia’s mission.
Turkey’s private NTV television, citing police sources, said the gunman was killed in a police operation inside the exhibition hall where the attack occurred.
The attack comes one day before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu heads to Moscow for talks on Syria with his Russian and Iranian counterparts. Turkey has been a staunch opponent of President Bashar al-Assad while Russia has deployed troops and its air force in support of the Syrian leader.
Russian Ambassador Karlov was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in the capital, Ankara, when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted “Allahu akbar” and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience.
A witness told CNN Turk that the gunman said he was taking revenge for Aleppo.
Russia and Turkey have been involved in conflict in Syria across the border from where over two million Syrian refugees have settled. Turkey has been a staunch opponent of President Bashar al-Assad while Russia has deployed troops and its air force in support of the Syrian leader.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack.
A photograph posted on Twitter showed a man in a black suit holding a pistol, standing close to a podium in the gallery, its walls hung with pictures. Four people including what appeared to be the ambassador lay on the floor.
Source: World Bulletin, Associated Press, CNN, Russian agencies