An unmasked Turkish policeman who was identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, has killed Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, after said off duty officers shot the diplomat from rear while giving a speech at an art gallery on Monday, December 19 in Ankara, capital city of Turkey.
Meanwhile, the Turkish security sources said the gunman, who shot the slain ambassador was an off-duty police officer and that they heard him telling the lifeless body of the diplomat not to forget Aleppo.
Beside the Turkey security sources report , the Russian foreign ministry too confirmed the death of envoy which marked one of the most serious spillovers of the Syria conflict.
2016 alone, Turkey has struggled with a string of attacks by Islamist and Kurdish militants but the killing of a Russian envoy could have resonance throughout the region.
Russia is a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes were instrumental in helping Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. President Tayyip Erdogan, however, has been a vociferous opponent of Assad.
Reacting to the killing, the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, stated that the country regarded the action as a terrorist act, affirming that, terrorism would not win and that Russia would fight against it decisively.
A footape showed the attacker as smartly dressed in black suit and tie, and standing behind the ambassador as he made his speech at an exhibition, a person at the scene told Reuters.
A witness, accortoding the country media, said that the killer reach out for a gun and shot the ambassador from behind.
“We saw him lying on the floor and then we ran out” he said.
Meanwhile, two security sources identified the gunman as an off-duty police officer who worked in the Turkish capital
Another witness, a Reuters cameraman at the scene, said gunfire rang out for some time after the attack. while Anadolu news agency confirmed the gunman to had been neutralized, apparently killed.
The attacker said through a video: “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” As screams rang out, he could be seen pacing about and shouting as he held the gun in one hand and waved the other in the air.
Another photograph showed four people including what appeared to be the ambassador lying on the floor.
Russia and Turkey have both been involved in the conflict in Syria, which borders Turkey. Turkey has been a staunch opponent of Assad, while Russia has deployed troops and its air force in support of the Syrian leader.
The U.S. State Department, involved in diplomatic contacts with Russia in an attempt to resolve a refugee crisis unfolding around the city of Aleppo, condemned the attack.
Tensions have escalated in recent weeks as Russian-backed Syrian forces have fought for control of the eastern part of Aleppo, triggering a stream of refugees.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Islamic State militants have been active in Turkey and carried out several bomb attacks on Turkish targets over the last year.