The Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, has been shot while speaking at an art exhibit in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Hurriyet Daily Newsreports three other people were injured in the attack, the shooter may still be in the building at the time of this report, and Karlov has not yet been taken to the hospital for treatment.
Hurriyet quotes the Russian embassy saying it believes “radical Islamists” were behind the attack, and notes that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is due in Moscow tomorrow for talks on the Syrian crisis with Russia and Iran.
CNN Turk is running a photo that appears to show the gunman:
Update, 11:40 EST: Russia’s TASS news agency reports the exhibit Karlov was speaking at was a photo exhibit called “Russia in the Eyes of Turks.” The perpetrator is said to have fired shots in the air and shouted “Get out!” at the crowd.
Hurriyet Daily News had a reporter on the scene who confirmed the crowd ran after the gunman fired in the air, then Karlov was shot.
Update, 11:45 EST: According to Ragip Soylu, a reporter for the generally pro-Erdogan Daily Sabah, the attacker bypassed security by showing a police ID badge, and shouted something about Aleppo and Syria before he opened fire. More specifically, he is said to have shouted, “We die in Aleppo, you die here.”
Soylu also reports Karlov was shot “four or five times.” He has posted a photo that may be of the attacker, although noting this has not been confirmed by the authorities as yet:
Update, 11:55 EST: An Associated Press photographer who was in the auidence reports the gunman shouted “Allahu akbar!” before opening fire, as well as saying something in Russian, and fired at least eight shots. Karlow was several minutes into his prepared remarks before the attack began.
Turkish media is reporting that the gunman has been neutralized. CNN Turk is reporting that special forces entered the building and ended a “brief hostage situation.”
Although the identity of the shooter has not been confirmed at the time of this writing, there have been claims he really was a plainclothes policeman, and possibly even a member of the Ambassador’s security detail.
Update, 12:20 EST: Russian President Vladimir Putin is meeting with his Foreign Minister and the heads of Russian security services about the attack. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Russians were in contact with Turkish authorities.
Hurriyet Daily News has updated its report to quote the attacker shouting to the crowd, “I will not leave here alive, do not approach me.”
Update, 12:25 EST: Chilling video of the attack as it happened:
His cries during the assassination have been translated, according to a report at Business Insider. At first, he shouted in Arabic: “We’ve made an oath to Mohammed to die in martyrdom, [it is] revenge for Syria and Aleppo.”
Altintas then switched to Turkish and shouted, “Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria… You won’t be safe. Only my dead body will leave here.”
He was described as speaking Turkish with an “educated, Istanbul accent” with “no trace of foreign accent, Arab or otherwise.”