World Leaders Condemn Russian Ambassador’s Assassination 

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov and (right) the assassin an off-duty Turkish police officer identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas standing besides Karlov’s body. - Sakshi Post

Ankara: Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov died after being shot by a gunman here late on Monday, the embassy announced.

A gunman in a black suit and tie shot dead the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov as he was speaking at the opening of a photographic art exhibition in the capital city of Ankara, titled "Russia through Turks' eyes." The gunman shouted "Don't forget Aleppo. Don't forget Syria. As long as our brothers are not safe, you will not enjoy safety. Whoever has a share in this oppression will pay for it one-by-one. Only death will take me away from here," according to Turkish security sources.

The gunman was shot dead at the scene and identified as 22-year-old Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, according to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu. He had been on duty for two and a half years at the riot police unit in Ankara. Three other wounded people were taken to Guven Hospital in central Ankara for treatment.

Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov (right) speaking at the Art exhibition minutes before being shot dead.

Russian President: President Vladimir Putin called the killing of Russia's ambassador in Turkey a "provocation" aimed at sabotaging warming ties between Moscow and Ankara and efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria.

"The crime that was committed is without doubt a provocation aimed at disrupting the normalisation of Russian-Turkish relations and disrupting the peace process in Syria," Putin said in televised comments. He said Russian investigators have opened a criminal case into the killing. In televised comments, Putin, speaking at a special meeting in the Kremlin, ordered security at Russian embassies around the world to be stepped up and said he wanted to know who had "directed" the gunman's hand.

He heaped praise on the murdered Russian ambassador, who was shot at as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery, and made clear that Moscow's response to his assassination would be robust.

America Condemns Assassination: The US has condemned the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, in Ankara.

"This heinous attack on a member of the diplomatic corps is unacceptable, and we stand united with Russia and Turkey in our determination to confront terrorism in all of its forms," said US National Security Council Spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.

UN Chief: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Turkish capital of Ankara, calling it as a "senseless" act of terror.

"The Secretary-General is appalled by this senseless act of terror and emphasizes that there can be no justification for the targeting of diplomatic personnel and civilians," said a statement released by Ban's spokesperson. "The Secretary-General is following the unfolding situation closely and wishes the other people who were reportedly injured in the attack a speedy and full recovery," it added.

The Turkish President said he had a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who offered to send security officers to Turkey for the investigation. The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is expected in Moscow on Tuesday for talks on Syria with his Russian and Iranian counterparts.

Turkish President: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly condemned the assassination of Russian ambassador to Ankara, describing it as a "provocation" aimed at ruining Turkey-Russia ties.

"Turkey-Russia relations were vital for the region and those who aim to harm ties are not going to achieve their goals," Erdogan said in a televised message on Monday. Turkish Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the attack. "It's been learned with great sorrow that Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador, lost his life as a result of an armed attack during the opening of a photo exhibition," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on its website. It said "all the connections of this incident will be brought to light and those responsible will be brought before the court." "We will not allow this attack to overshadow Turkish-Russian friendship," it added.

Moscow and Ankara were in the process of normalising ties after the latter shot down a Russian warplane on November 24, 2015 claiming airspace violation.

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