envoy Andrei Karlov

Journalist describes shooting of Russian ambassador

A journalist describes the moment when a gunman in an Ankara art gallery shot dead the Russian ambassador to Turkey.

ANKARA, TURKEY (DECEMBER 19, 2016) (REUTERS) – The Russian ambassador to Ankara was shot in the back and killed while giving a speech at an art gallery on Monday (December 19).

Journalist Bahar Bakir was at the event when the incident took place.

“A person who shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ behind the ambassador said: ‘You killed civilians in Syria, you will not get away with this.’ He took out his gun and pointed it at ambassador first and then to everyone else in the room. We lied down in panic. I saw the attacker pointing the gun towards ceiling and ambassador lying on the ground unfortunately,” she told reporters.

The Russian foreign ministry confirmed the death of envoy Andrei Karlov, which marked one of the most serious spillovers of the Syria conflict.

Turkey has struggled with a string of attacks by Islamist and Kurdish militants but the killing of a Russian envoy could have resonance throughout the region.