Gunmen had attacked and set fire to the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of last year's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, late on Tuesday evening as another assault was mounted on the US embassy in Cairo.
US consulate attacked in Libya
The California-born ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was trying to leave the consulate building for a safer location as part of an evacuation when gunmen launched an intense attack, apparently forcing security personnel to withdraw.
The American ambassador and three staff members were killed when gunmen fired rockets in their direction, a Libyan official in Benghazi told Reuters. Airport sources said the bodies were due to be flown from Benghazi to Tripoli.
The attack was believed to have been carried out by Ansar al-Sharia, an al Qaeda-style Sunni Islamist group that has been active in Benghazi, a Libyan security official said. Witnesses said the mob also included tribesmen, militia and other gunmen.
The attack raised questions about the future US diplomatic presence in Libya, relations between Washington and Tripoli, the unstable security situation in post-Gaddafi Libya and whether more protests might take place in the Muslim world.
The film portrayed Mohammad as a fool, a philanderer and a religious fake. In one clip posted on YouTube, Mohammad was shown in an apparent sexual act with a woman. For many Muslims it is blasphemous even to show a depiction of the Prophet.
US President Barack Obama, whose administration supported the Libyan insurgency with funds, weapons and training, branded the killing an outrageous attack and ordered increased security at US diplomatic posts worldwide.
KARZAI CONDEMNS DEVILISH ACT
A Danish newspaper caused a storm of protest across Islamic nations in 2005 by printing cartoons lampooning Islam and the Prophet Mohammad in 2005, the most famous depicted him wearing a bomb in his turban. The images touched off riots in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in 2006 in which at least 50 people died.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai sharply condemned the film in a statement, calling its making a devilish act, saying he was certain those involved in its production represented a very small minority.
US ambassadors in such volatile countries as Libya are accompanied by tight security, usually travelling in well-protected convoys. Diplomatic missions are usually protected by marines or other special forces.
Stevens grew up in California, graduated from Berkeley and worked in North Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. He taught English in Morocco before joining the foreign service where he worked in the Middle East and North Africa.
Libya's interim government has struggled to impose its authority on a myriad of armed groups that refused to lay down their weapons and often take the law into their own hands.
Security experts say the area around Benghazi is host to a number of Islamist militant groups who oppose any Western presence in Muslim countries.
The worst-case scenario for Western governments is that a spate of recent attacks could be the start of an Iraq-style insurgency by Islamist militants. That could have an impact on oil exports as the energy sector depends on foreign workers.
However, security analysts say an insurgency is unlikely to gain the kind of traction it had in Iraq, mainly because Western states have no military presence on the ground in Libya.
Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagour condemned the killing of the US diplomats as a cowardly act.
The consular officials were killed after heavy clashes between Libyan security forces and Islamist militants around the consulate building. Looters raided the empty compound and some onlookers took pictures after calm returned.
The Libyan security forces came under heavy fire and we were not prepared for the intensity of the attack, said Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya's Supreme Security Committee.
US pastor Terry Jones, who had inflamed anger in the Muslim world in 2010 with plans to burn the Koran, said he had promoted Innocence of Muslims, which US media said was produced by an Israeli-American property developer.
Jones, a pastor in Florida whose latest stunt fell on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, triggered riots in Afghanistan in 2010 with his threat to burn the Koran.
Many Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet as offensive and any depiction of him can cause furious protests in the Islamic world as well as among Muslims in Europe.
CHARRED WALLS, FIRE BURNS
On Wednesday morning, the compound in Benghazi stood empty, with passers-by freely walking in to take a look at the damage.
Walls were charred and a small fire burned inside one of the buildings. A small group of men was trying to extinguish the flames and three security men briefly surveyed the scene.
A Reuters reporter saw chairs, table and food lying alongside empty shells. Some blood stains could also be seen in front of one of the buildings. Three cars were burnt out.
In neighbouring Egypt, demonstrators had torn down an American flag and burned it during a protest against the film. Some tried to raise a black flag with the words There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his messenger.
The crowd of around 2,000 protesters in Cairo protesting against the film was a mixture of Islamists and teenage soccer fans known for fighting police and who played a part in the revolt that toppled Egypt's leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church condemned in a statement some Copts living abroad who it said financed the production of a film insulting the Prophet Mohammad, an Egyptian state website said. About a 10th of Egypt's 83 million people are Christian.
The fortress-like US mission in Cairo is near Tahrir Square, where Egypt's uprising began and the scene of many protests since. Youths danced and chanted football songs. A Reuters reporter said they appeared to climb into the embassy compound almost as an afterthought.
We sacrificed dozens and hundreds during the uprising for our dignity. The Prophet's dignity is more important to us and we are ready to sacrifice millions, said mosque preacher Mohamed Abu Gabal who joined the protest.
Two of Americans killed in Libya said shot during evacuation bid
Two of four Americans killed in Libya on Tuesday died in a shooting during an attempt by U.S. forces to evacuate staff from a safe house, Libya's Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al-Sharif said.
US consular staff were moved to the safe house after an attack on the consul building in the eastern city of Benghazi in which the ambassador was killed, minister Wanis Al-Sharif told a news conference.
A plane with US security units arrived from Tripoli to evacuate other staff but militants discovered the location of the safe house, he said.
It was supposed to be a secret place and we were surprised the armed groups knew about it. There was shooting, he said.
Two American security personnel were killed in the shooting, Sharif said. Two other people were killed and between 12 and 17 wounded.
RIP for those who died and its shameful event. what about the innocent muslims who died from US drones. If a person kills your sister or brother, wife children everybody then wont you try these kinda acts. If a person from ur town kills ur whole family without reason wont u act on it. or will u just sit a aside and say peace
In today's world with all the high tech devices word spreads faster than it was previously. Many of the world's problems are linked to supremacy of one or the other and the same applies to religions that preach that they are superior to the other this usually originates due to blind ignorance of faith with out any logical thinking and lack of tolerance to others point of view. No religion says harm others so why the followers never realize this simple thing.It is the responsibility of the leaders of religions/leaders to teach tolerance and analyze the others point of view."MANVATWAM LENI MATAM MATAM KADU" (A RELIGION LACKING HUMANITY,TOLERANCE IS NOT A RELIGION IF THIS IS REALIZED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD THEN WE ALL CAN LIVE IN PEACE AND HAPPINESS) LET THERE BE PEACE AND HAPPINESS ON THIS PLANET AND FORGET ABOUT THE OTHER WORLDS WHICH WE HAVE NOT SEEN SO FAR.
Killings of the US envoy and some members of his staff in Libya are extremely barbaric and condemnable! Those people over there in Libya were of course not at all involved in the disputed stuff and then they were un-armed, living far off from their homes,to represent US mission,like other nations' envoys are doing and their lives are protected as per the UN charter.Islam is said to be a religion of peace and also literally means "achive peace with God",what sort of peaceful-Islamic mission stands achieved in those tragic killings? Let's not generalise the significance or the characteristics of Islam as is being sought to be done by some worthy readers herein above; one question does bother each one's conscience:How come in every cases of killings/terror-related blasts,we find names of Muslims? This issue needs to be addressed very seriously by the learned clerics of Islam,otherwise,the world would isolate itself from Islam,irrespective of its high ideals/goals!
All religion preaches Love and brotherly hood. But Masses are intoxicated with religion. The imbeciles think or rather want to demonstrate that they are the custodians of the religion and want to protect it. They indulge in such activities to draw the attention of religious morons. If a non believer burns a religious text or he caricature a religious head why should a believer bother? He also wants to spread some message that is why he indulge in such acts. In ancient India there was a sect "Charvaks" or "Lokayukthas" who does not believe in God and they ridiculed prayres and rituals conducted by Belivers. But the Indian wisdom is to consider the Charvakas also as sages. They did not pronounce fatwas on them. Bile, Quaran or Gita or not the intellectual property of any individual or any groups. These can be interpreted as the wisdom of any one. In the present case in Libya is the repercussion of American and European involvement. Such incident can not happen in Qaddafi regime
It is again an eye opener; no one should use/nurture fanatic forces to achieve vested interests. True believers are tolerant and broad minded and do not get carried away just because some one felt like depicting it differently or have a different perception. Wonder why should it even matter at all if ones faith is clear and not weak.
The cause of the problem is not the 'holy' books which are the foundation of religions. But the readers for instance The Cow 2.109 shows clearly the behavior of a true Islam And on the other side people who claim to be Christians also don't actually abide by what the bible say.For example the bible argues all true Christians to reason and appeal to the heart not to condemn 1Peter 3:15. For which case that movie did. Conclusion:All religions nowadays seem to integrate politics with human traditions and reasonings
Yes it is. Cancer can not be stay on in your boday.So better remove it. America has the might to do this.
In life there will be opinion and ignorance. The film is an opinion video. It does not EVER represent the whole of a community, ever, regardless of the community. For someone to kill another person based upon an opinion is pure ignorance. Someone speaking ill of my religion gives me no right to terminate their life. Their life is not of my creation. Until the Muslim community collectively starts to stand up and fight the dangerous ignorance by their extremist, the non Muslim world will continue to not help when dictators torture.
Semitic followers should learn the tolerance towards other religions practised by Buddhisam,Hinduism &other Oriental Religions. Because both Jihad and Crucification Wars are barbaric practices against other religions.
Religion is based upon faith; as we don't exactly know how Nature work within itself to bring-in an equilibrium while remaining stationary but yet under constant movement within the Space ,hurting none that are living together.Once we know it through our efforts and knowledge, we must see the Religion much differently.Now we know that the entire humanity living assorted within the Globe are just forming a single entity called Human Spice and hence any attack on one by the other shall hurt the attacker only and not the victim.To criticize one by the other is a way of our lives to acquire knowledge which must not attract anger being it is the cause of all downfalls.Now let me disclose something which was told to none before.The Muslim Community who called Allah is none but Lord Christ or Lord Siva only Who offered knowledge to Prophet Mohammad from a distance while approaching Him from behind and hence KORAN is read reverse with higher LOVE. .
I fully understand and endorse your views. But why you fall short of criticising the notorious, fanatic and aggressive behaviour of Muslims on any thing which is against their thinking, mentality or religion? And that too when they themselves keep on doing the same for others?