- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed after armed men stormed the U.S. diplomatic mission in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday.

Ambassador Chris Stevens died from injuries sustained in the attack.

President Obama confirmed Mr. Stevens death on Wednesday morning and in a statement condemned what he described as an outrageous attack.

The mob in Benghazi was angry over a video reportedly produced in the U.S., which they said was insulting to Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.

“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens,” Mr. Obama said.

The victims “exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives,” he added.

Mr. Stevens had run the U.S. mission in Benghazi after the revolution against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime erupted in February of last year. He was confirmed as ambassador to Libya by the Senate earlier this year.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton identified one of the other victims as Foreign Service Information Management Officer, Sean Smith. The family of the other two victims were yet to be informed of their deaths.
Mr. Stevens died from injuries sustained in the attack on the diplomatic mission.

Mr. Stevens “spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people,” Mrs. Clinton said.

“As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi,” she added. “He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation.”
Mr. Smith, a father of two, joined the State Department 10 years ago.

Before Benghazi, he served in Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal, and most recently The Hague.

“Like Chris, Sean was one of our best,” Mrs. Clinton said.

“All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice,” she added. “We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.”

Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur in a Twitter posting said this was an attack on “America, Libya and free people everywhere.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh-Rasmussen also condemned the attack in Benghazi. “Such violence can never be justified,” he said.

In a personal tribute to Mr. Stevens, Mr. Obama said: “Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.”

• Ashish Kumar Sen can be reached at asen@washingtontimes.com.

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