U.S. Ambassador to Libya killed

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

The Defense Department has dispatched two Marine Corps antiterrorism security teams to Libya to reinforce security there, a senior Marine official said. In a statement issued by the White House early Wednesday, President Obama said he had directed an increase in security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the world.

President Obama condemned the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in a statement at the White House on Wednesday.

Stevens, 52, and the others were fleeing the consulate when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their vehicle, news reports from Benghazi said.

President Obama said Wednesday morning that the United States “condemns in the strongest possible terms this outrageous and shocking attack” and is working with the Libyan government to secure U.S. diplomats and bring the attackers to justice.

Appearing with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said: “We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal attacks.”

He said many Libyans have already joined that stand, and he vowed, “This attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya.”

Obama added: “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

Clinton identified one of the dead as Sean Smith, a Foreign Service information management officer for 10 years who was on a temporary assignment in Libya.

She said Smith, an Air Force veteran, left a wife and two children. The names of the other two people killed were being withheld pending notification of their families, Clinton said.

Before appearing at the White House with Obama, Clinton called those who attacked the Benghazi consulate a “small and savage group,” praised the response by the Libyan government and people to the violence and said the assault would not deter the United States from helping Libya become free and stable.


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