US ambassador to Libya killed in eastern city of Benghazi
By Sajad - Wed Sep 12 2012, 4:07 pm
The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three American members of his staff were killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Libyan officials said Wednesday.
Gunmen had attacked and burned the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, a centre of last year’s uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, late on Tuesday evening, killing one US consular official. The building was evacuated.
The ambassador was killed when an armed mob protesting against a film deemed offensive to Islam attacked the US mission, just hours after Islamists also stormed Washington’s embassy in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Reporters on the scene said they could see looters raiding the building, walking off with desks, chairs and washing machines. The film-maker whose movie attacking Islam’s prophet Mohammed sparked the assaults on US missions in Egypt and Libya.
The film at the centre of the anti-US protests was made by an Israeli-American who describes Islam as a “cancer” and depicts the Prophet Mohammed sleeping with women, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Chris Stevens’s death in Tuesday’s attack was confirmed in a tweet by Mustafa Abu Shagur, the deputy prime minister.
Stevens, a career officer with the US foreign service, had been in the country for less than four months after taking up his post in the capital Tripoli in May.
Fawzi Wanis, who heads the High Security Commission in Benghazi, confirmed that Stevens was at the consulate when it was attacked.
The attacks in Benghazi and Cairo were the first such assaults on U.S. diplomatic facilities in either country, at a time when both Libya and Egypt are struggling to overcome the turmoil following the ouster of their longtime authoritarian leaders, Moammar Gadhafi and Hosni Mubarak, in uprisings last year.