Russia’s ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was shot dead earlier today by Mevlut Mert Altintas, above, a 22-year-old riot squad police officer.
The Telegraph reports that the assassin shouted Allahu Akbar – God is great – as he pulled the trigger, and said:
We die in Aleppo, you die here. We have made an oath to Mohammed to die in martyrdom … a revenge for Syria and Aleppo.
The gunman – an off-duty policeman – opened fire at an art gallery in Ankara as Andrei Karlov was making a speech.
The murder followed days of protests in Turkey over Russia’s role in Syria as a backer of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Turkish foreign ministry insisted it would not allow the murder to “cast a shadow” over Turkey’s improving relations with Russia.
Altintas was shot dead by police in a shoot-out that lasted 15 minutes. Three other people were wounded in the attack.
President Putin spoke on the phone to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the shooting and Moscow said it was:
A tragic day in the history of our country and Russian diplomacy.
Later today, in what appeared to be another terrorist attack, at least nine people were killed and 50 others injured when a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin.