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Russian ambassador to Turkey shot dead in Ankara

Russian ambassador to Turkey shot dead in Ankara
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Turkish police fatally shot the gunman, Turkish station NTV reported.

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was several minutes into his speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in the capital, Ankara, when the gunman fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. The attacker also smashed several of the photos hung for the exhibition. There was panic as people ran for cover. NTV said three other people were wounded in the attack.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Karlov was shot “when an unidentified assailant opened chaotic gunfire during a public event in Ankara”. She later confirmed he had died. She said Russia was in contact with Turkish officials about the incident.

The gunman has been identified as a Turkish policeman, Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek  said. 

"The attacker is a policeman," Mr. Gokcek said on his official Twitter account, after numerous reports on social media identifying the gunman.

The Yeni Safak daily said on its website that the attacker — named as M.M.A. — worked with anti-riot police in Ankara.

Mr. Gokcek told reporters outside the exhibition center that the “heinous” attack aimed to disrupt newly-reestablished relations between Turkey and Russia.

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said U.S. officials were aware of reports about the shooting.

“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source,” Mr. Kirby said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
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