Media outlets report that Stevens and three other Americans have been killed in an attack by well-armed militants. Sean Smith was killed by a gunshot wound and Two U.S. Marines sent to Benghazi when the clash erupted were also shot and killed and It was not immediately clear whether the Marines were part of Stevens’ security detail. 1
The New York Times reports that fighters involved in the assault said in interviews during the battle that they were moved to attack the mission by anger over a 14-minute, American-made video that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, Islam’s founder, as a villainous, homosexual and child-molesting buffoon. Their attack followed by just a few hours the storming of the compound surrounding the United States Embassy in Cairo by an unarmed mob protesting the same video.2
AP reports that Ziad Abu Zeid, the Libyan doctor who treated U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens says the Stevens was brought to the Benghazi Medical Center by Libyans the night before, with no other Americans and that initially no one realized he was the ambassador. Abu Zeid said Stevens died of “severe asphyxia,” apparently from smoke inhalation, causing stomach bleeding, but had no other injuries. He also said he tried for 90 minutes to revive him.3
Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said the four Americans were killed when the angry mob, which gathered to protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, fired guns and burned down the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. He said Stevens, and other officials were moved to a second building – deemed safer – after the initial wave of protests at the consulate compound. According to al-Sharef, members of the Libyan security team seem to have indicated to the protesters the building to which the American officials had been relocated, and that building then came under attack.
- CBS News – Assault on U.S. consulate in Benghazi leaves 4 dead, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57511043/assault-on-u.s-consulate-in-benghazi-leaves-4-dead-including-u.s-ambassador-j-christopher-stevens/ ↩
- New York Times – Libya Attack Brings Challenges for U.S. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/world/middleeast/us-envoy-to-libya-is-reported-killed.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 ↩
- CBS News – Libyan doctor: U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens died of “severe asphyxia” http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57511234/libyan-doctor-u.s-ambassador-christopher-stevens-died-of-severe-asphyxia/ ↩