The American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, was killed last night in a mob attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. Facing protesters irate over a film that ridiculed the prophet Mohammed, Stevens had gone to the consulate with other employees to evacuate staff, reports the AP. High-ranking Libyan officials confirmed his death, along with the deaths of three other Americans. President Obama immediately denounced the "outrageous" attack, adds CNN, calling Stevens "a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States."
Libya's deputy PM called Stevens a "friend of Libya." "I condemn these barbaric acts in the strongest possible terms," he tweeted. "This is an attack on America, Libya, and free people everywhere." The other three victims were reportedly security staff, according to an anonymous contractor on the scene, and the consulate suffered heavy damage at the hands of protesters wielding guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The US embassy in Algiers is warning Americans to avoid non-essential travel. Stevens, 52, had served two tours in Libya and had overseen the Benghazi facility through the fall of Moammar Gadhafi. He had been confirmed as ambassador earlier this year. The last US ambassador killed in the line of duty was Adolph Dubs in Afghanistan in 1979, notes the AP.