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US Ambassador to Libya Killed In Benghazi Attack (Video)

Centre: Christopher Stevens

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff were killed in an attack on the Benghazi consulate and a safe house refuge, stormed by Islamist gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

Gunmen attacked and set fire to the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of last year's U.S.-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule. Another assault was mounted on the U.S. embassy in Cairo.






U.S. President Barack Obama branded it an "outrageous attack" and ordered increased security at U.S. diplomatic posts worldwide.


It was not immediately clear precisely how or where California-born ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed during the assault. Stevens was a key player when the Obama administration supported the anti-Gaddafi insurgency.

U.S. consular staff were rushed to a safe house after the initial attack, Libya's Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al-Sharif said. An evacuation plane with U.S. commando units then arrived from Tripoli to evacuate them from the house.

"It was supposed to be a secret place and we were surprised the armed groups knew about it. There was shooting," Sharif said. Two U.S. personnel were killed there, he said. Two other people were killed at the main consular building and between 12 and 17 wounded.

The attack raised other questions about the future U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya, relations between Washington and Tripoli and the unstable security situation after Gaddafi.

The amateurish film portrayed Mohammad as a fool, a philanderer and a religious fake. In one clip posted on YouTube, Mohammad was shown in an apparent sex act with a woman.

For many Muslims it is blasphemous to depict the Prophet. The incident had echoes of the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons that touched off riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in 2006 in which at least 50 people died.

Images of ambassador Stevens purportedly taken after he was killed circulated on the Internet. One image showed him being carried, with a white shirt pulled up and a cut on his forehead.

Across the Muslim world, leaders will be concerned about preventing the spread of violence. Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the film in a statement, calling its making a "devilish act" and saying he was certain those involved in its production represented a very small minority.

Source - Reuters

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