Breaking: US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans killed in Benghazi

Terrible news: 

U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats were killed Tuesday in an assault on the American consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the White House said Wednesday.

Wire services and reporters on the ground said that Stevens and the others were fleeing the consulate when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their vehicle. Al-Jazeera’s correspondent in Benghazi said the bodies of the dead had been taken to the Benghazi airport.

Stevens, a longtime Middle East hand in the State Department, was named ambassador to Libya in May. He had worked in Libya for a number of years, both before and after the fall of slain Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. The other dead were not identified in the White House statement issued Wednesday morning.

Reports are saying the assault was prompted by an amateur anti-Muslim video made in the U.S. attacking the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi,” Obama said in the statement, calling for “all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”

In the meantime, the Romney campaign and RNC chairman Reince Priebus have taken the opportunity from the tragedy to launch a completely inaccurate and tactless political attack against Obama, claiming the president is “sympathizing” with the attackers because of a statement unauthorized by the White House that was released by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Good one, guys.

We’ll keep you updated on further reports.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Vanessa,
    I agree with you. The Romney team dropped to a new low with that one. Romney, do NOT exploit the deaths of Americans to promote your campaign! You should be ashamed! My deepest condolences go out to the Stevens family and the families of the other two who died. Their names should have deserved a mention as well.

  2. Posted September 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    The statement Romney is harping on was also released before the actual attack (it was a response to the rioting before the Embassy was stormed), and there are suggestions that the attack was being planned before the islamophobic movie was made, and that the response to it was used as an excuse by the brigade that carried out the attack (who are really unpopular in Libya).

    As an aside one of the people killed had a quite the internet presence and while I didn’t know him personally, I saw enough of his posts to know he wouldn’t appreciate these statements by Romney, nor the people using the attack to paint all muslims as violent animals. May all the people killed rest in peace.

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