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Kyrgyz ambassador to Turkey witnesses Russian diplomat’s assassination, ready to testify

December 20, 2016, 10:28 UTC+3 BISHKEK

While shooting, the attacker yelled out "Allahu Akbar", according to the Kyrgyz ambassador

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© AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici

BISHKEK, December 20. /TASS/. Kyrgyzstan’s Ambassador to Turkey Ibragim Zhunusov said in an interview with Kyrgyz 24 news agency that he was ready to testify about the assassination of Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, if necessary.

"If necessary, I will testify in the assassination case," the Kyrgyz diplomat said. According to him, when the attack occurred, he and his Russian counterpart were attending the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition in Turkey’s capital of Ankara. "The exhibition is dedicated to Russia, Turkish photographers presented their views of Russia through their photos," the Kyrgyz ambassador said.

The diplomat added that when shots rang out, all the visitors attending the ceremony got down on the floor. While shooting, the attacker yelled out "Allahu Akbar". "He discharged the entire barrage of bullets," Zhunusov noted.

He also said that during the opening of the exhibition, the attacker was standing behind the main group of visitors. "He had a special badge on his lapel so we all thought he was one of the security staff," the Kyrgyz envoy explained.

Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was shot dead on Monday night while he was delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition dubbed "Russia from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka through the eyes of travelers".

According to Turkey’s authorities, the attacker was immediately neutralized by security forces. The attack also left three people wounded. Russia’s foreign ministry called it a terrorist act while the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case labeling Karlov’s assassination an act of international terrorism.

Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev conveyed his condolences to Russia’s Vladimir Putin over the ambassador’s death. Atambayev stressed that Kyrgyzstan strongly condemned the diplomat’s killing.

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