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Jet carrying body of slain Russian ambassador lands at Moscow airport

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier he would come to the airport personally to meet the flight

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. A chartered flight airlifting the body of Russia's Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated in Ankara on Monday, has landed at Vnukovo airport in Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu came to Moscow's Vnukovo airport on Tuesday night to meet the flight.

A Tupolev-154 jet carrying the body of the ambassador, who had been assassinated by a terrorist, landed at Vnukovo at around 20:30.

The two ministers went up the ramp aboard the jet that had taken back from Ankara Karlov's widow Marina and mother Maria. They helped them to get out of the jet and come down to a red runner carpet.

Servicemen of the Preobrazhensky Regiment of the Russian Armed Forces took the coffin there. It was covered with the Russian national standard.

To the tune of a funeral march, Marina Karlova, Sergei Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu proceeded behind the coffin between two lines of the guards of honor towards the airport's terminal.

Soldiers placed the coffin on a pedestal in front of the terminal. Right there, Marina Karlova and Maria Karlova once again had an opportunity to bid farewell to the husband and son.

Then the soldiers put the coffin into a hearse that left for the city.

An armed man whom the police identified later as a 22-year-old former police officer opened indiscriminate fire on Monday in an arts gallery in Ankara where Ambassador Karlov was opening a photo exhibition. According to Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesperson, Karlov received a gunshot wound, of which he died at hospital later.

Turkish officials said the attacker was eliminated on the spot. Apart from the ambassador, he wounded three more people.