Wednesday 13 December 2017

Gunman was 'police officer' - Turkish minister confirms

An unnamed gunman holds the gun after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
An unnamed gunman holds the gun after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The gunman who killed Russian ambassador was a police officer the Turkish Interior Minister has confirmed.

It is not yet clear if was he was on duty when he carried out the attack, a Turkish security source is reporting.

However, two sources have told Reuters that the man was an officer who worked in the Turkish capital.

Turkish police fatally shot the gunman after the attack, NTV reported.

The attacker also smashed several of the photos which were part of the exhibition.

There was panic as people ran for cover after the shots were fired, with three other people reportedly wounded in the attack.

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin (not seen), who disembarks from the Presidential aircraft at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin (not seen), who disembarks from the Presidential aircraft at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov (L) accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin who disembarks from the Presidential aircraft at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov (L) accompanies Russian President Vladimir Putin who disembarks from the Presidential aircraft at Ataturk airport in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File Photo
The Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov speaks a gallery in Ankara Monday Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish police secure the area near an art gallery where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
A man gestures near to Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, on the ground, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
The Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov speaks a gallery in Ankara Monday Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
An unnamed gunman holds the gun after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A man gestures near to Andrei Karlov on ground, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A man gestures near to the body of a man at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
An unnamed gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
The Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov speaks a gallery in Ankara Monday Dec. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
The Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov speaks at a gallery in Ankara, moments before the fatal attack (AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

Ms Zakharova said Mr Karlov was shot "when an unidentified assailant opened chaotic gunfire during a public event in Ankara".

She later confirmed the ambassador had died, adding that Russia was in contact with Turkish officials about the incident.

Ankara mayor Melih Gokcek told reporters outside the exhibition centre that the "heinous" attack had aimed to disrupt newly-re-established relations between Turkey and Russia.

US state department spokesman John Kirby said US officials are 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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