Russia bids farewell to slain Turkey envoy

2016-12-22 15:34
A coffin with the body of killed Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov is carried inside a church in Moscow. (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

A coffin with the body of killed Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov is carried inside a church in Moscow. (Alexander Zemlianichenko, AP)

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Moscow - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday bade farewell to Andrei Karlov at a packed memorial ceremony in Moscow for the diplomat who was assassinated in Turkey by an off-duty policeman.

Dozens of colleagues and relatives attended the ceremony for Karlov, the ambassador to Turkey whose death was labelled by Moscow as an act of terror while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the perpetrator was a member of Fethullah Gulen's group behind the aborted July coup.

Delivering speech

Putin laid red roses at the foot of Karlov's coffin and spoke with his relatives but left the ceremony without making a statement.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov praised the deceased envoy, who was 62 and paid his respects to his mother Maria, widow Marina and son Gennady, also a diplomat, as the ambassador's body lay in state in a flower-decked coffin.

In terrifying scenes captured on photo and video, 22-year-old policeman,  Mevlut Mert Altintas, shot the ambassador nine times in the back on Monday while he was delivering a speech at an exhibition of photographs of Russia in Ankara.

The ambassador fell to the ground and later died in hospital.

The assailant, who was off-duty and managed to circumvent the metal detectors by flashing his police credentials, shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) and "Don't forget Aleppo" after targeting Karlov and was himself killed in a subsequent shootout with Turkish guards.

Murder probe

A group of Russian investigators has been working on the probe in Turkey since Tuesday.

Turkish prosecutors on Thursday said they have released six relatives of Altintas who were detained for questioning in the wake of the attack.

Thirteen people were arrested in the murder probe and police were looking for 120 people, authorities said.

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  turkey  |  russia

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