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U.S Ambassador Killed in Libya

US consulate compound in Benghazi
(Photo credit should read STR/AFP/GettyImages)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama has condemned attacks that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three American members of his staff.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a statement Tuesday night that she condemned the attack in the strongest terms and has called the Libyan president to coordinate additional support to protect Americans in Libya. She says that some are trying to justify “this vicious behavior” as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. She says the U.S. deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.

But she says there is never any justification for violent acts like this.

She says the U.S. is working with partner governments around the world to protect American personnel, missions and citizens.

In a statement, President Obama said he had ordered “all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe.”

The attacks occurred Tuesday night in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, according to Libya officials. Stevens was killed when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob guns and rocket propelled grenades.

Obama said: “I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi.” The four Americans “exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe,” he said.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is criticizing the Obama administration in the wake of attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya.

In a statement Tuesday night, Romney says he’s outraged by the attacks. But he calls it “disgraceful” that the Obama administration’s first reaction wasn’t to condemn the Tuesday attacks but, in Romney’s words, “to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement condemning what it called “continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims,” an apparent reference to the video.

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