Russian ambassador killer’ family released by Turkish police

Turkish authorities have released the relatives of the off-duty policeman who shot dead the Russian envoy to Ankara three days ago, according to CNN Turk.

Authorities detained for questioning the mother, father, sister and two other relatives of Mevlut Mert Altintas, Turkish security sources said, after the 22-year-old policeman shot and killed the envoy on Monday.

Altintas shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar”, Arabic for “God is greatest”, as he fired the shots.

Ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot from behind while delivering a speech in an Ankara art gallery.

Russia and Turkey both cast the attack as an attempt to ruin a recent thawing of relations chilled by the civil war in Syria, where they back opposing sides.

The war reached a potential turning point last week when Russian-backed Syrian forces ended rebel resistance in the northern city of Aleppo.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said prosecutors were investigating why Turkish special forces, who stormed the gallery after the killing, did not take Altintas alive.

The Kremlin said yesterday it was too early to say who stood behind the murder of its ambassador.

It also said the assassination was a blow to Turkey’s prestige, comments that are likely to unnerve Ankara.


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