Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed revenge on Monday for the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, who was shot in the back by a renegade Turkish special forces police officer during an apparent Islamic terror attack.
Putin spoke with other members of his cabinet in a brief meeting that was broadcast and translated on RT and came mere hours after Ambassador Andrei Karlov was brazenly gunned down.
“We have to know who organized the killing, who gave orders to the assassin,” said Putin, who also pledged to punish those responsible.
“The fight against terrorism will only be stepped up,” he said.
Putin called Karlov an “outstanding diplomat” and said he knew him personally. He called for a memorial to be erected in his honor.
Putin said an investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Photographers captured the chilling moment 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas opened fire inside an Ankara art exhibit Monday, killing Karlov and wounding at least three others as Altintas shouted jihadi propaganda before being killed.
Turkish officials said the gunman had entered the building claiming he was a police officer. Other bystanders alleged he shouted “Aleppo” when he shot Karlov, but the claims could not be immediately confirmed.
Still and video cameras were trained on Karlov, who was giving a speech at the Ankara Center for Contemporary Art when a man wearing a dark suit suddenly shot Karlov in the back. Video captured the incident and shows Karlov grimacing and falling to the ground as the gunman, later identified as Altintas, moves toward his body.