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Summary

  1. Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, has been killed in a gun attack in Ankara
  2. He was shot while visiting a photo exhibition
  3. The gunman was heard shouting 'Don't forget about Aleppo!'
  4. He has been identified as a police officer
  5. It is unclear if he acted alone or had links to any group

Live Reporting

By Yaroslav Lukov and Alastair Lawson

All times stated are UK

End of our live coverage

We are pausing our live coverage of the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov. Here's a round-up of what we know:

  • Mr Karlov was shot dead by a gunman as he was speaking at a photo gallery in Ankara;
  • The attack was apparently in protest at Russia's involvement in Aleppo;
  • The gunman has been identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, a police officer at Ankara's riot police. It is not clear if he acted alone or had links to any group;
  • Turkey has condemned the attack, saying it will not allow it to harm bilateral relations.
  • Read our story here.

Gunman's 'sister and brother arrested'

The sister and mother of the gunman who shot the Russian ambassador have been detained in the western Turkish city of Aydin, Reuters quotes local media as saying. 

Wounded people fell on the ground with me, says eyewitness

Bahar Bakir, the diplomatic correspondent for the Haberturk Newspaper, was in the art gallery in Ankara when the shooting happened, and has described what he saw.

"A person who shouted 'Allah-u Akbar' [God is great, in Arabic] behind the ambassador said: 'You killed civilians in Syria, you will not get away with this'," he said.

"He took out his gun and pointed it at the ambassador first and then to everyone else in the room. We lay down in panic. I saw the attacker pointing the gun towards [the] ceiling and the ambassador lying on the ground unfortunately. 

"The exhibit hall was on second storey and I went down running. I saw wounded people who fell on the ground with me." 

gunman gestures after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey
AP
Gunman shouts after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, in Ankara

'Not clear if the attacker was a lone wolf'

It is not clear whether the gunman was a lone operator, Reuters news agency says.

Analysts say he may possibly have been motivated by popular discontent over Russian actions in Syria - Moscow is a strong ally of President Bashar al-Assad and has supported Syrian forces with air power - or affiliated to the group known as Islamic State, which has carried out a string of bomb attacks in Turkey over the last 12 months.

Which ever is the case, the news agency says, the incident raises concerns about a police force currently being purged after a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July.

Attacker 'worked at Ankara police'

Turkey's Interior Minister has confirmed that the gunman who shot and killed Russia's ambassador to Turkey was a police officer at Ankara's riot police.

He has been identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, born in 1994, AP news agency reports.

The ministry added that three other people were wounded in the attack, none in serious condition. And that one had already been released.

Turkey's FM condemns 'lowly terrorist attack'

Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, who has been shot dead
AFP
Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, who has been shot dead

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned the "lowly terrorist attack" that killed the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov.

In a statement, it says it will not allow the incident to "cast a shadow" over its friendship with Russia.

It also pays tribute to the ambassador as being a well respected diplomat.

The killer was said to be an off-duty Turkish policeman. Media in Turkey said he was later "neutralised" by police.

Other Turkish officials have strongly condemned the attack.

Relations between the two countries have been fraught recently, especially after a Turkish plane shot down a Russian jet close to the Syrian border.

But, on a political level, both governments have been co-operating, at least, in the ceasefire operation in the Syrian city of Aleppo.  

Police out in force in Ankara

A major police operation followed the killing of Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, who was shot and killed by a gunman at a photo gallery in Ankara.

Turkish police officers in Ankara cordon off the area close to a photo gallery where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot and killed by a gunman
AP
Turkish police officers cordoned off the area close to where the shooting happened
Armoured personnel carrier in Ankara
AP
The attack took place amid renewed tension in Turkey following a series of bombings blamed on Kurdish militants and on members of so-called Islamic State
An ambulance leaves the area near an art gallery where the Russian ambassador was shot
Reuters
Ambulances meanwhile meandered their way through police blockades to take those injured in the attack off to hospitals

Ambassador's death 'a huge loss'

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

More from Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who says "it's a huge loss to us". 

"It's a loss to the whole world because our ambassador to Turkey focused a huge part of his efforts over the past few years on making a contribution to the Syria settlement and stability in the region," Ms Zakharova says on state-run Rossiya 24 TV.

Syria condemns the attack

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

Syria has condemned the "cowardly terrorist act that killed Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov", according to Syrian state-controlled TV.

Erdogan and Putin speak on the phone - reports

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken on the phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after the shooting, Reuters reports, quoting CNN Turk. 

Russia: No weakening of ties with Turkey

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

"There will be no fresh cooling in relations between Moscow and Ankara, no matter how strongly our strategic opponents in Ankara and the West want this," said Leonid Slutsky, who heads the international affairs committee of the Russian Duma.

"This is not going to happen. There are differences between us. It's a horrendous tragedy, but relations between our states will not suffer."  

UK reaction to shooting

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has condemned the "cowardly" and

"despicable" murder of Russia's ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov.

More details of the shooting

Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper provides more details of the shooting.

It says the attacker first fired into the air and later shot the envoy in the back. 

More shots were heard after the area was evacuated, Hurriyet says, quoting reports that the attacker entered the scene by showing a police identity card.  

Gunman 'an off-duty police officer'

The gunman who shot Mr Karlov was an off-duty police officer who worked in Ankara, two security sources told Reuters news agency. 

The reports have not been confirmed. 

Dramatic video from the scene

Footage has captured the moments after the gunman fatally shot the Russian ambassador. 

You can see him here shouting: "Don't forget about Aleppo, don't forget about Syria!"

Russian ambassador shooting: Video shows aftermath

Andrei Karlov - career diplomat

Murdered Russian diplomat Andrei Karlov began his career as a diplomat in 1976, working extensively in North Korea for more than 30 years before being transferred to Ankara in 2007, according to the Russian embassy's website. 

He became ambassador in July 2013.

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov (file photo)
Reuters

Russia, Iran and Turkey talks to go ahead

Negotiations about the future of Syria involving Russia, Iran and Turkey will go ahead in Moscow on Tuesday despite Mr Karlov's killing, the Interfax news agency quoted senior Russian parliamentarian Leonid Slutsky as saying. 

US reaction to shooting

US State Department spokesman John Kirby says Washington is aware of reports about the attack on the Russian ambassador.

"We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source," Mr Kirby said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."

Aleppo evacuation continues

The shooting took place as thousands of people, including dozens of orphans, left Aleppo in one of the besieged Syrian city's biggest evacuations since they were resumed as part of a ceasefire deal last week. 

More than 4,500 civilians have left rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo so far on Monday. 

Russia says that 20,000 rebel fighters and civilians have reached rebel-held territory since the evacuations got under way.  

Aleppo connection to shooting

The gunman - whose identity is not known - was heard shouting: "Don't forget about Aleppo, don't forget about Syria!"

Russia - a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - has been accused of killing civilians during air strikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo, which is now controlled by Syrian government troops.

Protest rallies have been held near Russian embassies in a number of countries around the world.

Russia has repeatedly denied the allegation, saying it is targeting radical Islamists.

Pictures from the scene

A child is held after the the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead at a photo gallery in Ankara
AP
Children were evacuated from the area in the aftermath of the killing
Turkish troops at the scene of the attack
Reuters
Turkish security forces speedily secured the area near the gallery
Pepole react after the the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot at a photo gallery in Ankara
AP
People desperately sought cover inb the immediate aftermath of the shooting

'Terrorism will not pass!' - Russian statement

More from the Russian foreign ministry.

Its spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says: "Terrorism will not pass! We will fight it resolutely. Memory of this outstanding Russian diplomat, a man who did so much to counter terrorism in his diplomatic line of work, Andrei Gennadyevich Karlov, will remain in our hearts forever."

Turkish special forces surround building

Hurriyet newspaper says Turkish special forces have surrounded the building. 

Meanwhile, a witness has told Reuters that while gunfire resounded for some time after the attack, it has now stopped. 

Attack intended 'to ruin Turkey-Russia relations'

The mayor of Ankara, Melih Gokcek, says the attack is directed at ruining Turkey-Russia relations. 

BreakingAmbassador killed - Russian officials

Ambassador Karlov has been killed in the shooting, Russian officials say

A chequered relationship

Turkey and Russia have had a a chequered relationship in recent months. Relations have been improving since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on Syria's border in November 2015.  

The two countries agreed a gas deal in August in which Presidents Erdogan and Putin agreed to patch up their damaging quarrel, pledging to restore close economic relations. But even at the time  it was described by the BBC's Sarah Rainsofrd as "an alliance of misfits".

In October the two countries agreed closer military relations.

Smartly dressed gunman

Footage from inside the building showed a smartly dressed gunman, wearing a suit and tie, waving a pistol and shouting.

He can be heard yelling "Don't forget about Aleppo, don't forget about Syria" and uses the Islamic phrase "Allahu Akbar" (God is great").

Reports suggest the gunman was later killed by police.  

Gunman at photo exhibition in Ankara
AP

Shot at speaking engagement

Ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot as he was speaking at the exhibition called "Russia as seen by Turks".

Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov
AP

Location of attack

Welcome to our live coverage of the shooting of Russia's ambassador in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

The attack happened at a major art exhibition hall in the Cankaya district where most foreign embassies are based, including Russia's mission,  AFP reports.