Protesters storm US consulate in Benghazi
Updated: 2012-09-12 14:48
TRIPOLI - One American staff member from the US consulate in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi was killed on Tuesday night after hundreds of protesters, angered by an alleged US-made movie that insults the Prophet Mohammed, broke into the consulate building, a Libya's interior ministry official said.
Damage at the US Consulate in Benghazi is seen during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States Sept 11, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
Wanis Sharef, an assistant to Libya's interior minister, told Xinhua that the diplomats of the US mission have been evacuated to avoid clashes with the protesters.
Sharef confirmed that one person from the consulate was killed, but did not say clearly whether the dead was a diplomat or not.
Meanwhile, reports from Washington have by now confirmed one death in the consulate attack in Benghazi, but it neither revealed the casualty's identity.
At the same time, local media in Libya said that another US official might also have been injured.
Some armed men fired into the air before storming into the consulate and set it on fire, which destroyed part of the building, according to witnesses. Some even resorted to RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) in the attack, they said.
The attack is reportedly a move against a movie which insults the Prophet Mohammed.
A similar incident occurred in Egypt earlier on Tuesday as several thousands of Egyptians protested in front of the US embassy in the capital Cairo, expressing anger over a movie produced by some Coptic migrants in the United States which insulted the Prophet Mohammed.
The US embassy in Cairo condemned in a statement bids by some individuals to hurt the feeling of Muslims, saying that "respecting religious beliefs is the corner stone of the American democracy."
"We reject acts by those misusing the freedom of expression in offending other religions," the statement added.
The US Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States Sept 11, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]