- Obama embraces Merkel in Germany visit, prods Trump on Russia
- Philippines' Duterte wants to 'open alliances' with Russia, China
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov lies on the ground after he was shot by Mevlut Mert Altintas at an art gallery in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. Hasim Kilic/Hurriyet via Reuters
The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday by an off-duty police officer who shouted "Don't forget Aleppo" and "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire.
President Tayyip Erdogan, in a video message to the nation, cast the attack as an attempt to undermine NATO-member Turkey's relations with Russia - ties long tested by the war in Syria. He said he had agreed in a telephone call with Russia's Vladimir Putin to step up cooperation in fighting terrorism.
At a special meeting at the Kremlin, President Putin ordered increased security at all Russian missions and said "the bandits" who committed the act would feel retribution.
"We must know who directed the killer's hand."
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov makes a speech at an art gallery shortly before he was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Ugur Kavas
The assassination of an ambassador, not least of a major power such as Russia, marks a dangerous escalation of tension in the region and beyond. Security sources said he was off duty and some witnesses said there was no security scanning machine at the entrance.
The attacker was smartly dressed in black suit and tie and stood, alone, behind the ambassador as he began his speech at the art exhibition, a person at the scene told Reuters.
"He took out his gun and shot the ambassador from behind. We saw him lying on the floor and then we ran out," said the witness, who asked not to be identified. People took refuge in adjoining rooms as the shooting continued.
A video showed the attacker shouting: "Don't forget Aleppo, don't forget Syria!" and "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest") as screams rang out. He paced about and shouted as he held the gun in one hand and waved the other in the air.
Russia is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its air strikes helped Syrian forces end rebel resistance last week in the northern city of Aleppo. Turkey, which seeks Assad's ouster, has been repairing ties with Moscow after shooting down a Russian warplane over Syria last year.
The gunman was killed by special forces. Three other people were injured.
"We regard this as a terrorist act," said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. "Terrorism will not win and we will fight against it decisively."
Erdogan, who has faced a string of attacks by Islamist and Kurdish militants as well as an attempted coup in July, identified the attacker as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, who had worked for Ankara riot police for two and a half years. CNN Turk TV said police had detained his sister and mother.
A senior security official said there were "very strong signs" the gunman belonged to the network of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says orchestrated the failed coup in July. Erdogan has denounced Gulen as a terrorist, but the cleric, a former ally, denies the accusation.
U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 29, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Charles Mostoller/File Photo
Gulen described the killing as a "heinous act of terror" that pointed to a deterioration of security in Turkey resulting from Erdogan's wideranging purge of police as well as the army, judiciary and media following the coup bid.
The government says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, created a "parallel network" in the police, military, judiciary and civil service aimed at overthrowing the state.
Suspicion could also fall on a group such as Islamic State, which has carried out a string of bomb attacks in Turkey in the last year as Ankara has pressed a military campaign against the militants in Syria. The group has urged "lone" attacks in the West.
U.S. State Department
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was due to meet his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Russia on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Syria. Officials said the meeting would still go on, despite the attack.
"The attack comes at a bad time: Moscow and Ankara have only recently restored diplomatic ties after Turkey downed a Russian aircraft in November 2015," the Stratfor think-tank said.
"Though the attack will strain relations between the two countries, it is not likely to rupture them altogether."
However, both Russia and Turkey indicated that they were looking to work together to find the combat militant attacks.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump condemned the assassination, saying the killing was carried out by a "radical Islamic terrorist" and violated "all rules of civilized order."
Trump, in a statement issued by his transition team, offered condolences to the family of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov.
The U.S. State Department, involved in diplomatic contacts with Russia in an attempt to resolve a refugee crisis unfolding around the city of Aleppo, condemned the attack, as did the United Nations Security Council.
Tensions have escalated in recent weeks as Russian-backed Syrian forces have fought for control of the eastern part of Aleppo, triggering a stream of refugees.
Từ vựng liên quan
Tin tức liên quan
Vietnam is planning to allow some destinations to welcome back fully-vaccinated foreign visitors in the first steps to revive the tourism industry.
Lieutenant-General Do Quyet, director of Vietnam Military Medical University in Hanoi, is facing disciplinary actions for his involvement in a Covid-19 test kit scam at a HCMC technology firm.
PHNOM PENH- A U.N. human rights envoy on Thursday urged Cambodia to ensure judicial fairness and prevent threats and violence as political tension moves the country closer to a "dangerous tipping point".
Consumption of imported cars has skyrocketed while that of locally-assembled ones is falling despite efforts last year to tighten imports.
FBI agents and local police tracked down the man in the Los Angeles area.
Over VND198 trillion ($8.6 billion) would be needed to upgrade Mekong Delta traffic infrastructure until 2025, the Transport Ministry said Saturday.
Wearing a stack of bronze neck coils -- a sign of beauty for her Kayan tribe -- Mu Par dreams of a time when all "long-necked" women can return to Myanmar from Thailand where they are a tourist attraction.
Some people in HCMC still find it very difficult to buy food and medicine because they are given no or few coupons to go to markets and pharmacies.