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Canada condemns deadly attack on US mission in Libya

14 september 2012, 10:20
0
Canada on Wednesday strongly condemned an attack in Libya that claimed the lives of a US ambassador and three other Americans, AFP reports.

Initial reports said 52-year-old Ambassador Chris Stevens, a fervent supporter of the revolt that overthrew Moamer Kadhafi, and three other Americans were killed by an angry mob as they tried to flee in a car.

But it is now believed that Stevens died from smoke inhalation after becoming trapped in the compound when suspected Islamic militants fired on the building with rocket-propelled grenades and set it ablaze.

US officials are investigating the possibility that the assault was a plot by Al-Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers, using the protests as a diversion to carry out a coordinated revenge attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

"Canada strongly condemns and deeply regrets yesterday's senseless attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya," Minister for Foreign Affairs John Baird said.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the three other US officials who lost their lives in serving their country.

"We call upon Libyan authorities to take all necessary measures to protect diplomatic premises in accordance with Libya's international obligations. We also urge Libyan officials to ensure the extremists responsible are brought to swift justice," the top Canadian diplomat added.

Baird also announced that Canada would review security measures at its embassy in Tripoli.

"Obviously, we look continuously at the safety and security environment for Canadian personnel," he said. "As you would expect, we'll re-evaluate the environment as we regularly do for our personnel in Tripoli."

Tuesday's assault on the Benghazi consulate followed the storming of the US embassy in Cairo by protesters enraged over an amateurish anti-Islamic film made in the United States and reportedly promoted by a group of US-based Egyptian Copts.

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