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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

UPDATE: Libya Embassy Attack Carried Out By Militants

Michael Juliani |
September 13, 2012 | 7:20 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

(Dawn Megli / Neon Tommy)
(Dawn Megli / Neon Tommy)

The Associated Press reported that the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador and three others were carried out by militants as part of a two-part attack.

It was an operation run by heavily armed militants timed precisely on a safe house right when U.S. and Libyan officials were arriving to aid the evacuated consulate staff.

Wanis el-Sharef, eastern Libya's deputy interior minister, said that he suspected that the attacks Tuesday night were orchestrated to coincide with the eleventh anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York City.

el-Sharef also said that a number of militants have been arrested, and several others are being watched to see if they are linked to the attack or the group that may have orchestrated the attack.

U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens reportedly died of asphyxiation from inhaling smoke from a grenade explosion that started a fire.

In the days after the attack, President Barack Obama has evacuated most of the American staff from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli.

The Daily Beast reported that Libyan democracy activists have denied that the attacks were premeditated, and have asked President Obama not to give up on Libya.

They are worried that by taking American officials out of Libya, Obama is sending a message to other countries that Americans can be removed by force.

The United States presence in Libya represents a stability as the country attempts to organize a democracy after ousting dictator Muammar Gaddafi last year.



Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of Libya at our blog Diplomatic Immunity.

Reach Executive Producer Michael Juliani here; follow him on Twitter here.



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