Russia's ambassador to Turkey shot dead by off-duty police officer
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov lies on the ground after he was shot by unidentified man at an art gallery in Ankara. Reuters

Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was shot dead by an off-duty Turkish police officer while he was giving a speech at an art exhibition in the capital city of Ankara on Monday. The murdered shouted "Don't forget Syria and Aleppo!" and fired at least eight shots on his back.

The chilling footage of the gunman dressed in black suit shooting the Russian envoy while he was speaking at the opening of a Russian photography exhibition was captured by media crews covering the event. The videos and pictures took the internet by storm and garnered the attention of the world.

In the video, the assailant, identified as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, is seen carrying out the act in a composed manner. As the delegate lay dead at his feet, Mevlut pointed the gun in the air and shouted "Allahu Akbar" and pledged his allegiance to jihad in Arabic.

"Don't forget about Syria, don't forget about Aleppo. All those who participate in this tyranny will be held accountable," he said in Turkish, according to reports. He was later shot down by police force as he refused to surrender.

Meanwhile, Russia gave a stern reply to Turkey. The Russian foreign ministry called the incident a "terrorist act" while confirming the death of Karlov. Russian President Vladimir Putin also expressed his disapproval of the act and vowed that the 'bandits' will be punished.

"A crime has been committed and it was, without doubt, a provocation aimed at spoiling the normalization of Russo-Turkish relations and spoiling the Syrian peace process," said Putin, according to Los Angeles Times.

The incident happened amid tarnished ties between Russia and Turkey. The nations support the two conflicting sides of the Syrian war. Aleppo, on the other hand, seems to face the brunt of the war between President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels who want to overthrow him. Heavy shelling in the rebel-held Allepo is being carried out by Russian and Syrian government warplanes which have killed more than 150 people.

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Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov makes a speech at an art gallery shortly before he was shot in Ankara, Turkey. Reuters
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Turkish police secure the area near an art gallery where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot, in Ankara. Reuters
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Turkish police secure the area near an art gallery where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. Reuters
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Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu arrives to the art gallery where Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. Reuters
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Turkish police secure the area near an art gallery where the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was shot in Ankara, Turkey, December 19, 2016. Reuters