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Sep 12, 2012 at 10:40pm IST

Barack Obama condemns the killing of US envoy in Libya

Beirut: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned the killing of American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff in a rocket attack in Benghazi in Libya.

Confirming that the envoy was killed in the attack in Libya, Obama said, "US opposes senseless violence that killed that US diplomat."

Reacting to the killing of the envoy, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the attack "should shock the conscience of people of all faiths around the world".

"We condemn in strong terms this senseless act of violence and send our prayers to the families, friends and colleagues of those we have lost. It is especially difficult that this happened on September 11. It is an anniversary that means a lot to all Americans," said Hillary.

This came even as the Libyan Prime Minister also condemned the killing of the American Ambassador and offered an apology to the USA. He also said that he was concerned about the relations with the USA following the attack.

Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on Tuesday night that targeted his car in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

"The American ambassador and three staff members were killed when gunmen fired rockets at them," the official in Benghazi told Reuters. Asked about the deaths, a US Embassy employee in Tripoli said: "We have no information regarding this." The employee said the embassy could confirm the death of one person.

The Libyan official said the US ambassador had been on his way to a safer venue after protesters attacked the US Consulate in Benghazi and opened fire, killing a staff member, in protest at a US film that they deemed blasphemous to the Prophet Mohammad.

The official said the ambassador and three other staff were killed when gunmen fired rockets at his car. He said the US Embassy had sent a military plane to transport the bodies to Tripoli to fly them to the United States.

Gunmen assaulted the Benghazi compound on Tuesday evening, clashing with Libyan security forces, who withdrew under heavy fire. The attackers fired at the buildings while others threw handmade bombs into the compound, setting off small explosions. Small fires were burning around the compound.

The assault followed a protest in neighboring Egypt where demonstrators scaled the walls of the US embassy, tore down the American flag and burned it during a protest over the same film which they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

(With Additional Inputs from Reuters)