The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three American staffers were killed on Tuesday during a violent attack on the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.
According to the Washington Post, John Christopher Stevens and his staffers were attempting to flee a growingly chaotic scene when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their vehicle
This attack is believed to have been incited by a low-budget, amateur movie made in the United States that apparently mocked the prophet Muhammad. As noted by the Post:
The film that appears to have sparked the protests is called “The Innocence of Muslims.” It calls the prophet Muhammad a fraud and shows him having sex. A controversial Cairo television host, Sheikh Khaled Abdallah, aired clips from the video on an Islamic-focused television station on Saturday, and the same video clips were posted online on Monday.
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Early Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama reacted to the attack.
"I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens," he said in a statement.
"Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They 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."
On Stevens, specifically, President Obama offered these words:
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"His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice.”
Of the three staffers that were killed, so far only one has been identified: Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. The names of the other two people killed are being withheld until their families can be notified of what happened.
Stevens, who was born and raised in northern California, was named the American ambassador to Libya in May.