Prophet Mohammad film triggers anger, protests in Middle East; U.S. ambassador killed in Libya

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Updated: Anger over a film about Prophet Mohammad escalated Tuesday in the Middle East when protests erupted in Egypt and Libya. While protesters shouted slogans and ripped apart an American flag in Cairo to condemn the anti-Islam film being produced in America; in Libya, protests turned violent at the compound of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Four men including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed.

U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in Benghazi attack
Hadeel Al Shalchi | Reuters
11:03 a.m. EDT, September 12, 2012

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff were killed in an attack on the Benghazi consulate and a safe house refuge, stormed by Islamist gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

Gunmen had attacked and set fire to the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of last year’s uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule, late on Tuesday evening as another assault was mounted on the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

California-born ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in the assault, but it was not clear how or where he died. U.S. consular staff were rushed to a safe house after the initial attack, Libya’s Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al-Sharif said.

An evacuation plane with U.S. commandos units then arrived from Tripoli to evacuate them from the house.

“It was supposed to be a secret place and we were surprised the armed groups knew about it. There was shooting,” Sharif said. Two U.S. personnel were killed there, he said. Two other people were killed at the main consular building and between 12 and 17 wounded.

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