WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama strongly condemned an attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of four Americans--including the U.S. ambassador to Libya--and ordered increased security at diplomatic posts around the world.
"Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers," Mr. Obama said in a statement Wednesday morning. Among those killed was the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
The attack was supposedly prompted by an anti-Muslim movie made in the United States. The Libya attack followed a protest in Egypt, where locals scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy in anger.
Mr. Obama didn't mention the attacks in Egypt in his statement.
"While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants," Mr. Obama said.
Mr. Obama said, "On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people." He added, "His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice."
Mr. Obama's statement followed criticism from his Republican rival for president, Mitt Romney, for how the Obama administration responded to the attacks.
"I'm outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks," Mr. Romney said Tuesday night.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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