The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot in the capital city of Ankara, Russian news agencies report.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Russia’s establishment of a military presence in Syria last year, tensions in the Middle East have increased dramatically. Russia will absolutely retaliate for today’s attack, and it’s not going to be pretty. This story is breaking right now, with one outlet reporting that the ambassador has died from his wounds.
Andrey Karlov was visiting a photo exhibition when he was shot in the back, local media reports. Photos from the scene showed a man lying on the ground with an armed man dressed in a suit standing near him. Mr Karlov had represented Russia in the country since 2013.
The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the attack mounted as Ambassador Andrei Karlov made a speech at the opening of a photographic exhibition. Hurriyet newspaper said Turkish special forces had surrounded the building. NTV said three other people were wounded.
A Reuters witness said that while gunfire rang out for some time after the attack, it had now stopped.
Russia and Turkey have been involved in conflict in Syria across the border from where over 2 million Syrian refugees have settled. Turkey has been a staunch opponent of President Bashar al-Assad while Russia has deployed troops and its air force in support of the Syrian leader.
GRAPHIC WARNING: This story contains a video that shows the Russian ambassador getting shot and falling dead. Please watch with caution, thank you.
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) December 19, 2016
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attack. Islamic State militants have been active in Turkey and carried out several bomb attacks on Turkish targets
A photograph posted on twitter showed a man in a black suit holding a pistol, standing close to a podium in the gallery, its walls hung with pictures. Four people including what appeared to be the ambassador lay on the floor.