Russian ambassador Andrey Karlov is shot dead by gunman screaming 'Allahu akbar… We die in Aleppo, you die here' during art exhibition in Turkey

Russia’s ambassador to Turkey has been shot dead after an attacker opened fire at a photo exhibition in Ankara.

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in the capital 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.

He’s alleged to have also shouted ‘we die in Aleppo, you die here’.

The attacker also said some words in Russian and smashed several photos which were part of the exhibition.

It is believed he is a 22-year-old Turkish police officer from Ankara and in the special forces and so had police ID, allowing him to get close to the ambassador.

An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici) 
 
Russian ambassador shot dead by man shouting 'Allahu Akbar'

(Picture: Charles Lister/Twitter)

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a televised statement that the ministry would soon comment on ‘the attack on the Russian ambassador in Turkey’.

Turkish police have fatally shot the gunman involved, according to the NTV news channel.

Three other people were wounded in the attack, NTV said. Ms Zakharova said said Russia was in contact with Turkish officials about the incident.

US state department spokesman John Kirby said American officials are aware of the reports. ‘We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source,’ Mr Kirby said.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.’

Pepole react after the  the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov,  was shot at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. A gunman opened fire on Russia's ambassador to Turkey at a photo exhibition on Monday. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)Pepole react after the the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. A gunman opened fire on Russia’s ambassador to Turkey at a photo exhibition on Monday. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

People cower in a corner following the shooting at the gallery (Picture: AP)

credit: Charles Lister/Twitter

(Picture: Charles Lister/Twitter)

credit: Charles Lister/Twitter

The gunman’s elbow can be seen to the right of the picture (Picture: Charles Lister/Twitter)

 

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a televised statement that the ministry would soon comment on ‘the attack on the Russian ambassador in Turkey’.

Karlov was hospitalised and several other people were wounded, NTV and CNN-Turk televisions said.

Pictures published by the Hurriyet daily showed at least two men in suits lying flat on the ground as another man brandished a gun.

Security at the Russian embassy in Turkey has been stepped up as a result of the attack.

A photographer at the scene said that they heard at least eight shots.

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.

Protesters in Turkey have held Moscow responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo.

The attack came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia’s role in Syria.

Theresa May has said the shooting of the Russian ambassador to Turkey is ‘a matter of concern’.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson also left the chamber immediately after the Prime Minister’s announcement in the Commons.

During a statement about last week’s European Council, Mrs May told MPs: ‘I was just looking at what I believe, Mr Speaker, is some breaking news that the Russian ambassador to Turkey has been shot, which is a matter which has yet to be confirmed, but I think is a matter of concern.’

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was several minutes into a speech at an exhibition in the Turkish capital Ankara when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and fired at least eight shots, according to an Associated Press photographer in the audience.

The attacker also said some words in Russian and smashed several photos which were part of the exhibition.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a televised statement that the ministry would soon comment on ‘the attack on the Russian ambassador in Turkey’.

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