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President-elect Donald Trump on Monday condemned the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, calling it a “violation of all rules of civilized order” and saying it was carried out by a “radical Islamic terrorist.”
“Today we offer our condolences to the family and loved ones of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated by a radical Islamic terrorist,” Trump said in a short statement.
The president-elect added: “The murder of an ambassador is a violation of all rules of civilized order and must be universally condemned.”
The attack, which claimed the life of Ambassador Andrei Karlov, 62, and wounded three others, was carried out by a gunman who shouted about the ongoing civil war in Syria.
“Don’t forget Aleppo. Don’t forget Syria!” the gunman exclaimed.
An Associated Press photographer also said the assassin shouted “Allahu akbar” as he carried out the attack.
The Turkish government was apparently preparing to blame an Islamic domestic opposition movement, known as the Gulenists, for the attack. The movement is led by Turkish preacher Fetullah Gulen, who has lived in exile in the US since 1999.
The mayor of Ankara alleged in a tweet shortly after the attack that the gunman was a Gulenist and that his declarations about Aleppo were merely a distraction – a narrative that was repeated and expanded upon by Turkish media in the aftermath of the assassination.
A senior Turkish senior official later told Reuters that Ankara’s investigation will focus on the gunman’s links to the Gulen network.
Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand contributed to this story.