Obama condemns killing of U.S. envoy

The U.S. ambassador to Libya has been killed along with three of his staff.

Chris Stevens went to the U.S. consulate in Banghazi, Libya, Wednesday morning to check on the safety of  staff. He and his bodyguards were killed in a mob attack, the Libyan government has said. The U.S. State Department has declined to comment.

U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the attack, the CBC reports. 

“Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayer. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.”

The New York Times reports that Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur of Libya took to Twitter to condemn “the cowardly act of attacking the U.S. consulate and the killing of Mr. Stevens and the other diplomats.”

The protest has been linked to a short film by a California filmmaker.

Protesters in Cairo stormed the U.S. embassy in that city last night, climbing walls and hoisting a flag with Islamic inscription. The mob was protesting an Islamophobic film made in the U.S. by filmmaker Sam Bacile.

The $5-million movie, Innocence of Muslims, claims Muhammad was a fraud. Bacile, a real estate developer, defines himself as an Israeli Jew and believes the movie will help Israel by exposes Islam’s flaws. Footage of the obscure film has been posted online, and Bacile has since gone into hiding.

Prompted by the Cairo protest, armed militants in Libya set the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on fire, killing one American. Looting at the consulate has been reported by Reuters.