The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats were killed when suspected Libyan religious extremists stormed the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi late Tuesday, sparking a security crisis across the North African county and raising tensions across the Middle East.
Libyan officials spent the night in a manhunt trying to find those responsible for the killings that occurred when an angry and armed mob attacked the diplomatic complex in an apparent protest against an anti-Islamic video created and produced by an American-Israeli real estate developer.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Ambassador Stevens weren't immediately clear. Two Libyan security officials in the capital Tripoli gave conflicting reports of the events that occurred several hundred miles away on the east side of the country. One said that the ambassador's convoy had been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Another said that the diplomats died of smoke inhalation.
The news of the killings broke as Americans were waking up Wednesday, and there was little immediate reaction from Washington except to lament the loss of life and announce greater security measures for all U.S. diplomatic facilities worldwide.
"It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the death of four American personnel," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement. The statement identified another of those killed as Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer who was the father of two. Read more at The Wall Street Journal
The filmmaker who made the anti-Islam movie has gone into hiding. You can read more about that on the KFI News Blog.
A photo of Stevens during the attack is posted on another site. To see it, click the link below.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT