Thursday , December 14 2017

Shots outside US embassy in Turkey after Russia envoy killed

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish police on Tuesday detained a man who fired shots in front of the U.S. embassy in Ankara, several hours after the Russian ambassador to Turkey was killed in an attack.

The man took out a pump action shotgun he hid in his coat and fired around eight shots in the air before the embassy’s security guards intervened and apparently overpowered him.

No one was hurt in the incident which occurred hours after a Turkish policeman, appearing to condemn Russia’s military role in Syria, fatally shot Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov in front of a shocked gathering at a photo exhibit in Ankara.

The embassy said its missions in Ankara, Istanbul and the southern city of Adana would be “closed for normal operations on Tuesday.”

The U.S. embassy is located just across the street from the art exhibition center building where the attack against the ambassador occurred. It was not immediately known if the two incidents were connected.

The leaders of Turkey and Russia have described the attack as an attempt to disrupt efforts to repair ties between their countries, which have backed opposing sides in the Syrian civil war.

An Associated Press photographer and others at the art gallery watched in horror as the gunman, who was wearing a dark suit and tie, fired at least eight shots, at one point walking around Ambassador Andrei Karlov as he lay motionless and shooting him again at close range.

The assailant, who was identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas, a 22-year-old member of Ankara’s riot police squad, was later killed in a shootout with police.

Police investigating the ambassador’s killing detained two more people connected to Altintas, raising the number of people in custody for questioning to six, Anadolu reported. They include the man’s parents, sister, two other relatives and his roommate in Ankara.

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