NEW YORK (TIP): The US ambassador to Libya is among four Americans killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi September11. President Barack Obama has confirmed the attack and the Ambassador’s death, says a BBC report
Unidentified armed men stormed the grounds overnight amid uproar among Muslims over a US-produced film said to insult the Prophet Muhammad.
They shot at buildings and threw handmade bombs into the compound.It has not been confirmed how the ambassador, J Christopher Stevens,and the others died.
In a statement, President Obama condemned the “outrageous attack” on the facility in Benghazi, the eastern Libyan city which was a rebel stronghold during the uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi.
“Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States,” he said.”Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi.”Mr. Obama ordered a tightening of security at US diplomatic posts around the globe.
Libya’s interim leader, Mohammed Magarief, apologized to the US over the killings, which he called “cowardly criminal acts”.
Reports say a militia known as the Ansar al-Sharia brigade was involved in the attack, but the group has denied the claim, the BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli says.’
Reports suggest that Ambassador Stevens and his staff went to the consulate in an attempt to evacuate the site after it was attacked.
They were reportedly trying to leave the consulate building for a safer location when gunmen launched an intense attack, apparently forcing back security guards.
“The American ambassador and three staff members were killed when gunmen fired rockets in their direction,” a Libyan official in Benghazi told Reuters news agency.
A second US man killed in the attack was named as Sean Smith, a father of two who was employed as an information management officer. The names of the remaining two victims have not yet been released.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Mr. Smith in a statement as “one of the best”. The attack was condemned by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague as “brutal and senseless”.”These diplomats were serving not only their own country but the people of Libya and were working for the peace and stability of Libya in the future,” he said in a statement. It is not the first time that a US ambassador has been killed while on active duty.
Earlier, between 1968 and1979, at least five US ambassador shave been killed in line of duty.* John Gordon Mein – Guatemala,1968: Shot dead by rebels who ambushed his car in GuatemalaCity.* Cleo A Noel Jr – Sudan, 1973: Shot dead along with senior US and Belgian diplomats by the Black September Palestinian militant group, after being taken hostage in Saudi embassy in Khartoum .* Rodger P Davies – Cyprus, 1974:Killed by sniper gunfire during a demonstration at the US embassy in Nicosia by Greek Cypriots.* Francis E Meloy Jr – Lebanon,1976: Kidnapped by Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine members in Beirut with another senior US official. Their bullet-riddled bodies were later found.* Adolph Dubs – Afghanistan, 1979:Killed in exchange of fire after Afghan and Soviet forces tried to free him from kidnappers in Kabul hotel.