The Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday by an off-duty police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire.
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BREAKING: Russia’s ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in Ankara, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 19, 2016
Russia claims the incident was a terror act, but the act strains rough tensions between the two countries yet again.
Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes helped Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. Turkey, which seeks Assad’s ouster, has been repairing ties with Moscow after shooting down a Russian warplane over Syria last year.
As pictured above, the Ankara mayor said on Twitter the gunman as a 22-year-old police officer.
“He took out his gun and shot the ambassador from behind. We saw him lying on the floor and then we ran out,” said a witness, who asked not to be identified. People took refuge in adjoining rooms as the shooting continued.