The US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, has died from smoke inhalation in an attack on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, security sources have told Al Jazeera.
An armed mob attacked and set fire to the building in a protest against an amateur film deemed offensive to Islam's Prophet Muhammad, after similar protests in Egypt's capital.The ambassador was paying a short visit to Benghazi when the consulate came under attack on Tuesday night, Al Jazeera's Suleiman Idrissi reported from the eastern Libyan city.He died of suffocation during the attack, along with two US security personnel who were accompanying him, security sources told Al Jazeera.Another consulate employee, whose nationality could not immediately be confirmed, was also killed. Two other staffers were injured, Idrissi reported.
The bodies of the dead were transported to the Benghazi international airport, to be flown to Tripoli and then onwards to a major US airbase in Germany. "One American staff member has died and a number have been injured in the clashes," Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya's Supreme
Security Committee, said on Wednesday, adding that rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the building from a nearby farm. "There are fierce clashes between the Libyan army and an armed
militia outside the US consulate," he said. He also said roads had been closed off and security forces were surrounding the building.Just hours earlier on Tuesday, thousands of Egyptian demonstrators apparently angry over the same film - a video produced by expatriate members of Egypt's Coptic community resident in the US - tore down the Stars and Stripes at the US embassy in Cairo and replaced it with a black Islamic flag.The two incidents came on the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks in the US.
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