U.S. ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens is confirmed to have died in Tuesday’s attack on the US consulate in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi. The Libyan ambassador and three staff members were killed when gunmen fired rockets at them,” A Libyan official in Benghazi told Reuters.
The report of the death of the ambassador and staff members follows the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday, over a film by a U.S.- Jewish producer that ridicules and insults the Prophet Muhammad.
“I condemn these barbaric acts in the strongest possible terms. This is an attack on America, Libya and free people everywhere,” Deputy Prime Minister of Libya Mustafa Abushagur said in a post on his Twitter.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed and condemned the deaths of the American personnel in Benghazi.
“The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind, ” she said in a statement.
According to Alyunaniya correspondent in Libya Rajab Benghuzzi: “Most Libyans here are against the attack at the US consulate which they believe was an act of provocation to create chaos in a time where Libya is struggling to overcome the turmoil following the ouster of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Hours before the attack at the U.S consulate in Benghazi hundreds of mainly protesters in Egypt marched to the U.S. Embassy in downtown Cairo, scaling its walls, and taking down the American flag from a pole in the courtyard.
The U.S. Embassy said on its Twitter account that there will be no visa services on Wednesday because of the protests. The U.S. Embassy in Libya also announced that the Consular Section will reopen on Monday, August 27.
According to Wall Street Journal The movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” was directed and produced by an Israeli-American developer who characterized it as a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam. It has been promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans previously sparked deadly riots worldwide.
A 13-minute trailer of the movie that sparked the protests, posted on the website YouTube in an original English version and another dubbed into Arabic, depicts Muhammad in an overtly ridiculing way, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.
Sam Bacile, an American citizen who said he produced, directed and wrote the two-hour film, said he had not anticipated such a furious reaction. According to AP Bacile said he is Jewish and familiar with the region. Bacile said the film was produced in English and he doesn’t know who dubbed it in Arabic.
The two-hour movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” cost $5 million to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors, said Bacile, who wrote and directed it, according to the Denver Post. Though Bacile was apologetic about the American who was killed as a result of the outrage over his film, he blamed lax embassy security.
Tuesday’s protests came on the eleventh anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when U.S. cities were targeted by hijacked planes for the incident.