US ambassador Chris Stevens and three staff killed in Libya after protesters angry at film that mocks Prophet Mohamed storm consulate

52-year-old Chris Stevens died of smoke inhalation while trying to evacuate staff after protesters angry at the 'The Innocence of the Muslims' stormed the US consulate

The US ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff have been killed by protesters angry about an American film deemed blasphemous to the Prophet Mohamed.

52-year-old Chris Stevens died of smoke inhalation while trying to evacuate staff from the US consulate in Beghazi after protesters stormed the compound and killed Sean Smith - a foreign service information management officer.

In the subsequent chaos, the protesters fired rockets at the vehicle Mr Stevens was escaping in, disabling it.

It is thought two unidentified Marines attempted to drag the ambassador from the burning car, before being shot dead by the mob themselves.

Graphic images from the scene show civilians then taking over the rescue operation, but their efforts to save Mr Stevens’ life proved futile.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attack, ordering increased security at US diplomatic posts around the world.

The assault followed a protest in neighbouring Egypt where around 2,000 demonstrators scaled the walls of the US embassy before ripping down and burning the American flag and replacing it with a banner associated with ultraconservative Islam.

The attacks are in protest at the release of a 14-minute long trailer for a US-made film that ridicules Prophet Mohamed.

The film, titled The Innocence of the Muslims, depicts Mohamed as a fraudulent womaniser who demands massacres.

It was made by 56-year-old filmmaker Sam Bacille, who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew and in an interview yesterday said: “Islam is a cancer, period”.

Mr Bacille is now reported to be in hiding, fearing for his life.

Originally filmed in English, the trailer was later translated into Egyptian Arabic.

It has featured in Egyptian media reports for several days, with many conservative clerics publicly denouncing it.

Matters came to a head yesterday when hundreds of protests descended on downtown Cairo, gathering outside the walls of the US embassy.

Most of the embassy staff had already evacuated the building amid warnings of the demonstration, but that didn’t stop protesters, some of whom were wearing masks and chanting pro al-Qa’ida messages, scaling the walls and spraying religious graffiti.

The protests, which took place on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in New York, then spread to Libya where a group calling themselves the Islamic Law Supporters launched an attack on the US consulate in Beghazi.

In a personal statement on the attacks, US President Obama paid tribute to Ambassador Stevens, calling him a “a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States”.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also condemned the attacks, before paying tribute to Mr. Stevens’ 21-years in the Foreign Service and calling Sean Smith “one of our best.”

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's most starring part
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We URGENTLY require qualified an...

IT Portfolio Analyst - Prince2

£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a glob...

Project Co-ordinator - Birmingham - Permanant

£20000 - £25000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

Head of Maths

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Head of Maths position at a prestigious ...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week