Russian ambassador to Turkey shot and killed in Ankara

The gunman after shooting Andrei Karlov.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot and killed Monday while attending an art opening in the city of Ankara, local media reports. Russian media reports Andrei Karlov, a career diplomat for Russia, died after he was apparently shot by a lone gunman at an exhibit opening at the Cankaya Art Center and Concert Hall.

A spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry said Karlov was taken to a hospital with serious injuries following the attack, The Associated Press reports, while Russian media later said Karlov did not survive. Police reportedly neutralized the assailant, and Turkish news network NTV said that authorities killed the man.

Turkish officials said the gunman claimed to be a police officer when he entered the building, The Guardian reports. Some eyewitnesses have told media that the man shouted "Aleppo" — the name of the besieged Syrian city currently at the center of Russian-Turkish cease-fire negotiations — as he shot the diplomat. An AP photographer said the man shouted "allahu Akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is the greatest," and fired at least eight shots. Graphic video of the shooting is visible here.

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The attack comes just one day after protests broke out in Turkey over Russia's military intervention in the Syrian civil war, the BBC reports, and one day before the Turkish foreign minister is set to meet with Russian and Iranian officials in Moscow. Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the Russian foreign ministry is in contact with officials in Ankara regarding the attack. Kimberly Alters

This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout.

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Kimberly Alters

Kimberly Alters is the news editor at She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.