Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed minutes ago that four U.S. personnel were killed in yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
The dead include Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. The names of the other two are not being released yet pending notification of next of kin.
“I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago. He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa which began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco,” Clinton said in a statement.
“As the conflict in Libya unfolded, Chris was one of the first Americans on the ground in Benghazi. He risked his own life to lend the Libyan people a helping hand to build the foundation for a new, free nation. He spent every day since helping to finish the work that he started. Chris was committed to advancing America’s values and interests, even when that meant putting himself in danger.”
According to Al-Jazeera, Stevens died of smoke inhalation after an armed mob attacked and set fire to the building.
“Sean Smith was a husband and a father of two, who joined the Department ten years ago. Like Chris, Sean was one of our best. Prior to arriving in Benghazi, he served in Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal, and most recently The Hague,” Clinton said.
Libyan security sources told Al-Jazeera that the other two deceased were U.S. security personnel accompanying Stevens. Two other staff were injured.
“All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice. We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future,” Clinton said.