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Russia’s Foreign Ministry Claims Assassinated Ambassador Contacted Syrian Opposition

Mevlut Mert Altintas shouts after shooting the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Dec. 19, 2016. Burhan Ozbilici / AP

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed that assassinated Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov had established contact with the Syrian opposition in Turkey.

Read about the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey

“He was so devoted to the cause of peace, truly understanding what was happening and how terrorists form, and that the more they spread their ideas in this region the more difficult it is to establish a political process,” Zakharova said on the television program An Evening With Vladimir Solovyov on Rossiya 1.

Zakharova added that Karlov had talked with the Syrian opposition and elicited their opinions, which she said provides another dimension to his assassination.

Ambassador Karlov became ambassador to Turkey in July 2013. He was killed Monday evening while attending a photo exhibition titled “Russia Through the Eyes of the Turks” in the capital Ankara. He is survived by a wife and son.

The gunman was 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, a Turkish policeman. After shooting the ambassador, Altintas shouted slogans referring to Aleppo in Syria.

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