TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - Libyan officials say the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans have been killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad.
The officials say Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff. The protesters were firing gunshots and rocket propelled grenades.
All of the officials - three in all - hold senior security positions in Benghazi.
They are deputy interior minister for eastern Libya Wanis al-Sharaf; Benghazi security chief Abdel-Basit Haroun; and Benghazi city council and security official Ahmed Bousinia.
Senator Jim Inhofe released this statement about the attacks:
“We mourn the tragic murder of Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, a friend whom I met with in February of this year, and the three others. These individuals lost their lives in service to their country, and Ambassador Stevens was a brave American who was acting to protect his fellow citizens. Kay and I offer our prayers to their families.
“These attacks, the murder of our ambassador, and the disgraceful treatment of his body must have consequences. The timing of this on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 is more than just coincidence. Sadly, America has suffered as a result of President Obama’s failure to lead and his failed foreign policy of appeasement and apology. The world must know beyond doubt that America will not allow these types of attacks on our people. Obama’s failed leadership is in direct contrast with the Ambassador Stevens brave leadership and effort to protect Americans at the consulate.
“There are many disturbing facts about these attacks that raise many troubling questions. For this reason, today I am calling on Chairmen Levin and Kerry to hold hearings immediately on the lack of intelligence, security, and appropriate response. We must have answers to these questions to prevent similar attacks in the future.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma Chapter condemns both the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and the attacks on diplomatic facilities and personnel in that nation and in Egypt.
“We strongly condemn the unacceptable killings of the American diplomats in Libya” said Adam Soltani, Executive Director of CAIR-OK, “We also condemn the attack on our nation’s diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt. The actions of the attackers are completely inexcusable and not rooted in the teachings of Islam”.
CAIR also called on Muslims in the Middle East to ignore the distribution of the “trashy” anti-Islam film, clips of which are circulating online, that resulted in the attacks.
"There is a great deal of sadness today in the American Muslim community regarding these attacks, which are in no way reflective of the American Muslim community or of Islamic faith," said Jillian Holzbauer-Frazier, CAIR-OK Communications Director. "We offer our support and condolences to all victims of these violent acts, buthope that through tragedy we can forge constructive dialogue and mutual understanding."
CAIR-Oklahoma is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is toenhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialog, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.