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2012 Benghazi Attack

8pm: Militants close streets around compound

11 Sep, 2012

AP reports from Libyan witnesses, including a guard at the compound and neighbors that at 8pm on Sept. 11 around 150 bearded gunmen, some wearing the Afghan-style tunics favored by Islamic militants, sealed off the streets leading to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. They set up roadblocks with pick-up trucks, bearing the logo of Ansar al-Shariah and mounted with heavy machine guns.

There was no sign of a spontaneous protest against the “innocence of Muslims’ video. Khaled al-Haddar, a lawyer who passed by the scene as he headed to his nearby home, said he saw the fighters gathering a few youths from among passers-by and urged them to chant against the film. “I am certain they had planned to do something like this, I don’t know if it was hours or days, but it was definitely planned,” said al-Haddar. “From the way they set up the checkpoints and gathered people, it was very professional.”

The guard said he saw no protesters. He heard a few shouts of “God is great,” then a barrage of automatic weapons fire and rocket-propelled grenades began, along with barrages from heavy machine guns mounted on trucks.1

  1. AP – Libyan witnesses recount organized Benghazi attack