The Russian ambassador to Turkey was last night shot dead by an off-duty Turkish police officer at an art gallery in Ankara in 'revenge' for the conflict in Syria.
Ambassador Andrei Karlov, 62, was shot several times from behind by a gunman shouting: 'Allahu Akbar (God is Great). We die in Aleppo, you die here!' He also screamed: 'Only death will take me out of here.'
The shooter, who was wearing a suit and tie, has been identified as Mevlüt Mert Altintas, 22, a member of Ankara's police riot squad. He reportedly fired into the air before taking aim at the ambassador.
He then turned weapon on others in the gallery - injuring three - before he was shot dead in a 15-minute stand-off with police. There has been some suggestion that Altintas was linked to Turkey's failed coup in July.
Russian president Vladimir Putin condemned the attack, saying: ‘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.’ Russian embassies to be stepped up and as Putin vowed to find who had ‘directed’ the gunman’s hand.
The killing comes after days of protests in Turkey over Russia's role in Syria.
Today the Russians are due to host Turkey and Iran's foreign ministers for talks on the evacuation of civilians from Aleppo. Both sides have indicated they will still go ahead.