Turkey: Russian envoy Andrey Karlov wounded in gun attack in Ankara

Ankara: Russia's ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov was on Monday badly wounded in a gun attack while visiting an art exhibition opening in the Turkish capital, television reports said.

Karlov was hospitalised and several other people were wounded in the attack by an unknown gunman, NTV and CNN-Turk televisions said.

 Turkey: Russian envoy Andrey Karlov wounded in gun attack in Ankara

A man gestures near the body of a man, who is reportedly Russia's envoy to Turkey, at a photo gallery in Ankara. AP

The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound.

But Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova didn't give Ambassador Andrei Karlov's condition. Zakharova was speaking in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in the capital, Ankara, when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted "Allahu Akbar" and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. The attacker also said some words in Russian and smashed several of the photos hung for the exhibition.

Pictures published by the Hurriyet daily showed at least two men in suits lying flat on the ground as another man brandished a gun.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a televised statement that the ministry would soon comment on "the attack on the Russian ambassador in Turkey"

The attack came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia's role in Syria, although Moscow and Ankara are now working closely together to evacuate citizens from Aleppo.

The attack happened at the Cagdas Sanatlar Merkezi, a major art exhibition hall in the Cankaya district of Ankara where most foreign embassies are located including Russia's mission.

CNN-Turk said the ambassador was in a serious condition.

Protesters in Turkey have held Moscow responsible for human rights violations in Aleppo.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2016 07:43:07 IST