Hillary Clinton's Benghazi emails released by State Department

Release of almost 300 messages comes amid allegations over transparency

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The Independent US

The controversy surrounding the deadly attack on the US’s consulate in Benghazi has been reignited after the State Department released almost 300 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that reveal what she knew abut the assault.

The messages were among 296 emails released on Friday, in the first batch of emails to be made public from Ms Clinton’s term as America’s most senior diplomat.

Totalling 896 pages, the emails show a series of Libya dispatches Clinton received from a confidant in the months leading up to the attack and a series of messages sent between her and her aides after the operation on September 11 2012

“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” the State Department tweeted shortly after the announcement.

Ms Clinton has faced considerable backlash and deep skepticism over her use of a private server as she makes her second bid for the White House. As a result, she asked that the State Department make her emails public , and repeated her public push to have them released on the campaign trail this week.

The State Department initially planned to release them in January 2016, but a federal judge ruled this week that there should be a “rolling production” of the emails, and they must be disclosed publicly in batches before then.

Four people were killed in the attack on the consulate – US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, foreign service Sean Smith and CIA contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

The Obama administration has been criticised for initially saying the attack by militants was a spontaneous incident when there was substantial evidence it had had been planned.

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