Hillary Clinton: ‘We are heartbroken by this terrible loss’

U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens was among those reportedly killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Photo by: Prachatai / CC BY-NC-ND

A contentious video about the Muslim prophet Muhammad has triggered violent protests in Egypt and Libya, resulting in the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens.

U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement Wednesday (Sept. 12) over Stevens’ death. He condemned the attack and said he has “directed” his administration to “provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”

The protests happened on the same day the United States commemorated the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack that killed thousands of people in the country.

“We are heartbroken by this terrible loss,” Clinton said in an earlier statement, when she confirmed the death of one U.S. State Department official.

Armed protesters reportedly raided the U.S consulate in Benghazi, Libya, shooting and throwing grenades at the buildings in the compound. The situation was similar in Cairo, Egypt, where protesters tore down a U.S. flag.

Earlier, Libyan President Magariaf has expressed his condolences and pledged the government’s “full cooperation” on the matter, according to Clinton’s statement.

“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others,” Clinton said. “But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”

Obama, meanwhile, said: “Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States … His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice.”

The department’s other staff members have now been evacuated and, according to Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis al-Sharif, “are safe and sound,” Agence France-Presse reports. 

Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.

About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.

Join the Discussion