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Ex-Erdogan Guard Is Killer of Russian Ambassador to Ankara: Daily

Turkish newspaper Hurriyet has identified the off-duty police officer, who recently gunned down Russia's ambassador to Ankara, as a member of the team providing security for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Named as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, the officer shot and killed Andrey Karlov, the Russian envoy, as the latter was inaugurating a photo exhibition in the Turkish capital, Ankara, with nine bullets on Monday. The attacker was subsequently gunned down by the police.

The paper said he had served in the taskforce ensuring that no harm would come to the head of state in public events. The group would play second fiddle to Erdogan's personal bodyguards.

He had provided security for the Turkish president eight times since July 15, when the country witnessed a failed coup, according to the report.

Over all, he had served two-and-a-half years in anti-riot police.

On Tuesday, the state-run Anadolu agency said the attacker's mother, father, sister and two other relatives were arrested in the western province of Aydin, while his flatmate in Ankara had also been detained. Turkish media reported seven more arrests in the case later.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has told US counterpart John Kerry in a phone call that Turkey believed US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the assassination plot.

Ankara also blames Gulen, Erdogan's friend-turned-archenemy, to be behind the coup. The clergyman denies the allegations.

Source: Al Alam


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