Russia ambassador to Turkey assassinated, gunman dead

The Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov speaks a gallery in Ankara Monday Dec. 19, 2016. A gunman opened fire on Russia's ambassador to Turkey Karlov at a photo exhibition on Monday. The Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said he was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Russian official says that the country's ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot by a gunman in Ankara.

NTV television, citing police sources, said the gunman was killed in a police operation inside an exhibition hall where the attack occurred.

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in the capital, Ankara, when a man wearing a suit and tie shouted "Allahu Akbar" and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer in the audience. The attacker also said some words in Russian and smashed several of the photos hung for the exhibition.

He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, where he was later pronounced dead.

The violence comes one day after protesters took to the streets over Russia's military intervention in Syria.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a televised statement that the ministry would soon comment on "the attack on the Russian ambassador in Turkey"

Photos from the scene show people lying on the floor as someone with a gun walks through the gallery.

Video was captured by people attending the event, showing the shooting.

WARNING: Photos contain images that may be disturbing to some readers.

Andrei Karlov was 62 and he joined the diplomatic service in 1976. He served as Russia's ambassador to Pyongyang in 2001-2006, and later worked as the chief of the Foreign Ministry's consular department. He had served as the ambassador to Turkey since 2013.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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