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U.S.-based cleric's movement not involved in Russia envoy killing: Gulen adviser

U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gulen at his home in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen’s movement had no connection to the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey on Monday, and he strongly condemns the killing, according to an official who advises Gulen on media issues.

Allegations by an unnamed senior Turkish security official of “very strong signs” that the gunman who killed the ambassador belonged to Gulen’s network are “laughable” and intended to cover up for lax security, the adviser, Alp Aslandogan told Reuters.

“Mr. Gulen categorically condemns this heinous act,” Aslandogan said. The Turkish government has accused Gulen of instigating a failed coup in July. Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, denies this.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Alistair Bell