Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot and killed in the Turkish capital in an apparent protest against Russian military action in Aleppo and support for the Assad regime.
Off-duty Turkish policeman Mevlut Mert Aydintas, 22, used his police badge to gain access to an event where Karlov was making a speech and shot at him eight times.
Video footage filmed at the event show the attacker holding up a gun and shouting in protest against Russian involvement in the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Aydintas is believed to have been killed in a shoot out with police shortly following the attack.
The attack comes a day after protests took place across Turkey, where demonstrators took aim at the help given to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by Russia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the incident, where both leaders agreed that the murder was an act of “provocation” aimed at destabilising the increasingly close relationship between the two countries.
The UN Security Council immediately condemned the murder of a diplomat, while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the incident as a “senseless act of terror”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry:
“We stand ready to offer assistance to Russia and Turkey as they investigate this despicable attack, which was also an assault on the right of all diplomats to safely and securely advance and represent their nations around the world”
Foreign ministers from the UK, France, and Germany strongly “condemned” the attack, while Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Turkey had given assurances that there would be a full and thorough investigation, and those responsible would be brought to justice.