Russian’s Ambassador to Turkey Assassinated in Ankara
Russia’s ambassador to Turkey died today when a lone gunman fired shots at him at a photo exhibition in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News. The attack was caught on camera.
Andrey Karlov, the ambassador, died from his wounds, she said. She added that Russia was referring to the shooting as a terrorist attack.
“Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria. Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria,” the gunman yelled in Arabic during the attack. “Until these places are safe you will not taste any safety either.”
According to Russia’s state news agency, Tass, witnesses said Karlov was shot in the back by the gunman after he gave a speech at the Museum of Modern Art. He was hospitalized after the attack, Russian state media reported.
In a statement, the White House called the attack on Karlov was “heinous.”
“The United States strongly condemns the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey … which reportedly also left others wounded. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of Ambassador Karlov and the other victims, and we offer our condolences to the Russian people and Government. 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,” according to the statement.
Karlov, 62, was a career diplomat, according to The Associated Press. He joined the diplomatic service in 1976.
He served as Russia’s ambassador to North Korea from 2001 to 2006 and later worked as the chief of the Foreign Ministry’s consular department. He served as the ambassador to Turkey since 2013.
Protests of Russia’s role in the Syrian war have been prominent in Turkey.
The governments of both countries have collaborated to evacuate civilians from war-torn Aleppo.
Turkish President Tayyip Receo Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, spoke by telephone about Aleppo on Sunday and emphasized the need to swiftly overcome disruptions to the city’s evacuation, sources in Erdogan’s office told Reuters.
Turkey has suffered numerous terrorist attacks in recent years, the most prominent of which have been bombings.
Among those attacks were a suicide attack at a wedding this August and coordinated shootings and bombings of Istanbul’s major international airport in June.
Both those attacks killed scores of civilians.
ABC News’ Patrick Reevell and the Associated Press contributed to this report.