Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the water… A string of attacks took place this evening across Europe.
First, in a shocking incident, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was murdered on live TV as he visited an art exhibition. WARNING: Graphic video:
The gunman who assassinated Russia’s ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov, at an art exhibition Monday shouted out “Aleppo” and “revenge” as he fired, according to an eyewitness account.
“While the ambassador was delivering a speech, a tall man wearing a suit fired into the air first and then took aim at the ambassador,” Hasim Kilic, a correspondent for the Turkish daily Hurriyet, told AFP. “He said something about ‘Aleppo’ and ‘revenge’.”
Other eyewitnesses said he called out to the ambassador before shooting that he and his country will pay for their anti-Syrian actions in Aleppo.
The attack came after days of protests in Turkey over Russia’s role in Syria.
According to information released by Turkish authorities the gunman was a 22-year-old Turkish police officer connected to the Syrian rebels and named Marat Altintas. who entered the room under the guise of a journalist. Security forces tracked down the suspect and after a short exchange of gunfire he was shot dead.
Can we expect retaliatory action from Russia against either the Turks or the Kurds? I would think that’s a safe bet, but in today’s world, who can tell?
Moments after the ambassador’s assassination, three people were hurt in a shooting at an Islamic Center in Zurich – Zurich!! Of all places!
Moments after the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated,Swiss police reported that three people were hurt during a shooting at the Islamic center in Zurich. According to reports the three are seriously injured. The motives of the gunman are as yet unknown.
I guess the motives depend on who the gunman is and which nationality and/or terror group he belongs to.
And the latest attack took place in Berlin. In an attack all too familiar to Israelis, a truck rammed into a crowd at a Christmas market, killing nine people and injuring over 50:
The truck crashed into the market, filled with holiday shoppers and revelers, outside the capital’s Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
AP Television footage showed a large Scania truck with its windshield smashed out on the sidewalk alongside the market, with a swarm of ambulances nearby. A large Christmas tree with a gold star on top was toppled over nearby in the street.
“There have been at least nine deaths,” a police spokesman told AFP.
“There are at least 50 injured… some seriously. Some are dead,” she said after a driver drove up the pavement of the market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Monday evening.
“We are investigating whether it was a terror attack but do not yet know what was behind it,” the spokesman said.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry was in touch with German police to learn more about the situation, a spokesperson in Jerusalem said.
Police said they arrested a suspect believed to be the driver of the truck near the scene. They did not give any details about the suspect’s identity.
A passenger who was with the suspect was found dead, German police said.
“A man who was apparently driving the truck was detained,” a police spokeswoman told AFP. “The person riding in the vehicle is dead.”
Witness Mike Fox told The Associated Press at the scene that the large truck missed him by only about three meters as it drove into the market, tearing through tables and wooden stands.
“It was definitely deliberate,” said the tourist from Birmingham, England.
He said he helped people who appeared to have broken limbs, and that others were trapped under Christmas stands.
Our condolences go out to all the injured and bereaved in this string of attacks.
Let’s hope the European authorities know how to get the situation back under control in this holiday season.