Art Gallery Assassination of Russian Ambassador Prompts Kremlin To Heighten Security

The Contemporary Arts Center in Turkey’s capital Ankara was the scene of an extremist attack, which killed the Russian Ambassador to the country. The assassin fired at least eight shots at the diplomat, who was rushed to the hospital and later died. Karlov’s death was confirmed by Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, who said the envoy had died in a terrorist attack. He was giving a speech at the opening of a photography exhibition sponsored by the embassy. 

The embassy-sponsored photo exhibition called “Russia as seen by Turks” opened on Monday evening in Ankara. He was several minutes into a speech when the gunman – who had been standing behind him as he spoke opened fire, according to eyewitnesses and Television footage.

The shooting took place after a day of protests in Turkey over Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and the day before Turkey, Russia and Iran were due to meet over the Syria crisis. Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was a veteran diplomat who had served as Soviet ambassador to North Korea for much of the 1980s and took up the Ankara posting in July 2013. Karlov, 62, had to grapple with a major diplomatic crisis last year when a Turkish plane shot down a Russian jet close to the Syrian border.

The gunman can also be heard saying “Allahu Akbar” several times during the attack. Mr. Putin has ordered extra security measures for Russian embassies around the world, a Kremlin spokesman told news agency Tass.

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