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People bring flowers to sealed off Russian embassy in Ankara

Embassy Spokeswoman Irina Kasimova said that the Russian diplomatic mission in Ankara was receiving a huge number of condolences

ANKARA, December 20 /TASS/. The Turkish authorities have cordoned off all entrances to the Russian embassy in Ankara. Police barriers will stay in place until further notice from the Turkish Interior Ministry, a duty police officer outside the embassy told TASS on Tuesday.

Special police units have been deployed outside the embassy building, and restrictions have been imposed on the entry of cars and people.

In the meanwhile, Russians residing in Ankara, representatives of Russian companies operating in Turkey and foreign embassy employees are bringing flowers to the Russian embassy over the death of Ambassador Andrey Karlov.

Embassy Spokeswoman Irina Kasimova told TASS that the Russian diplomatic mission in Ankara was receiving a huge number of condolences. "Both Russians and Turkish nationals are offering condolences to Russia over Andrey Karlov’s death by telephone and in social networks," she said. The embassy is flying the Russian flag at half-mast.

Assasination of Russian ambassador 

Russia’s envoy to Turkey Andrey Karlov was gunned down in Ankara late on Monday as he was opening a photo exhibition titled "Russia: From Kaliningrad to Kamchatka, through the eyes of a traveler."

According to Ankara, Turkish security services liquidated the assassin who himself turned out to be a policeman. Three people were injured in the incident, which the Russian Foreign Ministry described as a terror attack. The Russian Investigative Committee, which initiated criminal proceedings, classified Karlov’s murder as an act of international terrorism.

US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft has offered condolences to Russia over the murder of Ambassador Andrei Karlov in Ankara on Monday.

"He was a professional who died doing his hard but necessary work of a diplomat," Tefft wrote on the US embassy page in Twitter on Tuesday. "Rest in peace," Tefft said.

The Russian embassy in Washington will open a Condolence Book at 14:30 (2:30 p.m.) local time on Tuesday.

The Russian diplomats said that the condolences had already "started to arrive." The White House, the State Department and the Pentagon have already made corresponding statements. Ordinary Americans have brought flowers to the Russian embassy’s fence.

Terror attacks, having become commonplace, are ominous signs of change taking place in the world, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said on Tuesday commenting on Karlov’s cold-blooded murder.

"The world is changing. Terrorist attacks, which used to occur before, were a catastrophe followed by months of discussion. Today, terror attacks take place several times a day. They have become commonplace and this is a terrible tragedy," Syromolotov stressed.