Former Nusra Front claims responsibility for Russian ambassador's assassination

Former Nusra Front claims responsibility for Russian ambassador's assassination ...
en.mehrnews.com 21/12/2016 Military

Keywords:#Aleppo, #Andrey_Karlov, #Ankara, #En.mehrnews.com, #Fatah, #Foreign_Ministry, #Government, #Internet, #Izmir, #MNA, #Media, #Mevlut_Cavusoglu, #Mevlut_Mert_Altintas, #Moscow, #News, #Nusra_Front, #Politics, #Russia, #Russian, #Russian_Ambassador, #Sergey_Lavrov, #Turkey, #Turkish


News ID: 3856328 - Wed 21 December 2016 - 15:12
Politics
MOSCOW, Dec. 21 (MNA) – Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly the al-Nusra Front) has claimed responsibility for Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov’s murder in Ankara.
The terrorist group claimed responsibility via a letter which appeared on the Internet.
Earlier in the day Turkish media reported that the number of people detained in the investigation over the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov has grown to 13.
The arrests were carried out in the province of Ankara, in addition to the southwestern provinces of Izmir and Aydin, the NTV broadcaster cited police as saying.
Karlov was shot and killed at an art gallery exhibition opening in Ankara on Monday. The Russian Foreign Ministry said it considered the attack a terrorist act.
Previous reports indicated that six relatives of the perpetrator have been detained. Some of them are reportedly linked to Gulen movement accused by Ankara of organizing a failed coup in July.
The 22-year-old Turkish policeman who shot dead the Russian ambassador in Ankara called in sick on the day of the attack, a senior security official has revealed.
The Government has identified Mevlut Mert Altintas as the gunman who shouted "Don't forget Aleppo!" and "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire repeatedly on envoy Andrey Karlov.
Altintas called the Ankara riot police where he had worked for two-and-a-half years and said he was unwell and would have a doctor's note upon his return, the official said.
The Russian ambassador was giving a speech at an art gallery in the Turkish capital when he was killed in the attack, which was caught on video and widely circulated on social media.
The official said Altintas, who lived in a shared flat in the Demetevler neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ankara, spent the night before the attack at a hotel in central Ankara close to the gallery.
"He walked from the hotel … to the gallery. He showed his police ID at the entrance," the official said.
This allowed him to bypass a security check and take his gun into the venue.
Mr Karlov was speaking at an event for the gallery's showing of an exhibition of photos from Russia, entitled "From Kaliningrad to Kamchatka".
Media present captured the killing in graphic detail.
In one photo, Altintas is seen standing just behind the ambassador as he spoke.
It was reported the gunman fired 11 shots, with nine of those hitting the ambassador.
Mr Karlov's body was sent back to Moscow from Turkey on Tuesday, a day after the attack.
The white, red and blue Russian flag was draped on the casket as a Russian Orthodox priest recited prayers in a ceremony at the Ankara airport.
Top ministers from the Turkish government also spoke in memorial to Mr Karlov.
Russian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu accompanied Mr Karlov's wife and mother down the steps of the plane in Moscow.
Mr Karlov's wife, Marina Karlova, wept as the honour guard carried her husband's flag-draped coffin off the plane and placed it into a hearse.
Turkish authorities are reportedly investigating Altintas's links to the "Gulenist Terrorist Organisation" or "FETO".
"The people he lived with before school were detained over [ties to] the FETO. It was determined that the people with whom he graduated from school were from a FETO team," a senior Turkish security official, who declined to be identified said.
"Information was obtained to the effect that people who helped him get into school were from FETO.
"There are very strong signs that the person who carried out this attack was from FETO. The investigation is currently focused totally on this."
The official also cited the fact that the attacker had taken leave from the riot squad in the period of July 15-17.
The Government may argue the timing of his holiday demonstrated foreknowledge of the July 15 military coup.
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