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Turkey blames usual suspects for murder of Russian ambassador

Few people in Turkey are entertaining the possibility that the killing of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov by an off-duty police officer was a "lone wolf" attack.

Off-duty police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas assassinated Andrei Gennadyevich Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, at an art gallery in the Turkish capital Ankara on Dec. 19. Police forces subsequently killed Altintas in a gunfight.

What we know so far about the episode is as follows: Karlov habitually liked to blend in with local folks and therefore seldom traveled with a large security team. Thus, he was at grave risk when he attended a Russia-themed photo exhibit at an art gallery across the street from the US Embassy in Ankara’s upper-class district of Cankaya. Altintas, 22, who was serving with a riot police squad in the Turkish capital, was able to enter the gallery with a pistol because he had his official ID card. Karlov reportedly had no bodyguards inside the venue.

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