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US evacuates diplomatic staff from embassy in Libya

Most of diplomatic staff have been evacuated following the killing of the US ambassador to Libya and other consul officials in Benghazi.

Glass, debris and overturned furniture are strewn inside a room in the gutted US consulate in Benghazi
Glass, debris and overturned furniture are strewn inside a room in the gutted US consulate in Benghazi
Image: Ibrahim Alaguri/AP/Press Association Images

THE UNITED STATES has evacuated most of its diplomatic staff from Libya, flying them to Germany, after an attack on its Benghazi offices that left four dead, US officials confirmed this evening.

All diplomatic missions around the world have also been ordered to review their security, a senior US official told journalists.

The United Nations earlier slammed the “unjustifiable” killing of the US ambassador to Libya, saying it highlighted the Libyan government’s struggle to establish its authority.

The UN Security Council and UN leader Ban Ki-moon both condemned the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi “in the strongest terms”.

The 15-nation council put aside divisions over last year’s NATO military action in Libya to agree on a statement on the attack that killed Chris Stevens and three other US officials.

Libyan diplomats said a number of Libyan security guards also lost their lives.

The council also hit out at an earlier attack on the US embassy. Both have been blamed on anger sparked by a movie mocking Islam.

The Security Council “reaffirmed that such acts are unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed,” said a statement agreed by the body.

“The United Nations rejects defamation of religion in all forms. At the same time, nothing justifies the brutal violence which occurred in Benghazi yesterday,” Ban said in a statement released by his office.

“The world witnessed a sober reminder of the challenges faced not only by the Libyans, but those in the international community who are committed to support Libya’s ongoing transformation,” UN political chief Jeffrey Feltman told a Security Council meeting.

He added that the consulate attack, the killing of security personnel in Benghazi, bombs in Tripoli and the destruction of Muslim shrines in several cities “further emphasize the security challenges facing the authorities in Libya.”

- (c) AFP 2012

Read: US ambassador to Libya killed in attack

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