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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Seven Libyans Injured Defending US Embassy

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I just watched ABC News say that Hillary Clinton spoke of all those that lost their lives in the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya. She did not, and neither did ABC News.

MSNBC has this report:
A picture taken by an AFP photographer shows what witnesses say is an injured Stevens being aided by Libyans inside the premises of the consulate.

Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said up to 10 Libyan security personnel were also killed or wounded in the violence.

Obama paid tribute to the Libyans who had given their lives.

"Libyan security personnel fought back alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of the diplomats find safety and carried Ambassador Stevens's body to the hospital where we tragically learned that he had died," the US president said.

"The attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya."
From Now Lebanon we have this report:
Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's deputy UN ambassador, told reporters that up to 10 Libyan security personnel were casualties of the attack on Tuesday. "Some of them have been killed at the start of the attack," he said.

UN Assistant Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman told the UN Security Council he had "seen reports that Libyan security personnel were also killed" in the attack.

Protest in Tripoli against the killing of US Ambassador | 12 Sept 2012

Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM PT:

From the Libya Herald we have this report:

US consulate attack “pre-planned” says Magarief

By Nihal Zaroug and Maha Ellawati

Tripoli/Benghazi, 14 September

The attack on the US mission in Benghazi in which Amercian Ambassador Chris Stevens, three other US diplomats were killer and as many as 10 Libyan security officers, was planned in advance said the Speaker of the General National Congress (GNC) Mohamed Magarief in Benghazi today, while on a visit to the gutted US consulate.He was accompanied by Chief of Staff Yusuf Mangoush.

Refuting statements by deputy interior minister with responsibility for the east of Libya, Wanis Al-Sharif, who blamed both Qaddafi elements for the attack and as well as US security guards who he said had provoke the attack by shooting at peaceful demonstrators, Magarief accused extremists for Tuesday night’s events.The attack, he said, was premeditated and intended to harm US personnel; pro-Gaddafi elements were not involved in the attacks.

Stevens was in Benghazi for a 10 a.m. meeting on Wednesday with AGOCO, an oil company. His visit was supposed to be secret, but it is being reported that the details of his visit were passed on to the extremists. Sensitive documents are said to be missing from the representative office.

The perpetrators were coordinated, it is claimed, and came fully armed, with the clashes outside the mission lasting several hours. Libyan activists and political figures have denounced the attacks on TV, demanding to know why neither the army nor the Ministry of the Interior’s security forces had not respond in time with an equal amount of force.

Ansar Al-Sharia, the militant group said to be involved in the attack, is being investigated and some members have been arrested. Sources close to Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur say the group will be closed down. For its part, the islamist movement group have denied involvement in the attacks and say they are being deliberately slandered.

Questions are being asked both in the US and in Libya whether there is an Al-Qaeda link. It is being suggested that the Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades, which supports Al-Qaeda, was behind the attack. Magarief himeslf has already indicated that it is not coincidental that that attack took pace of the anniversary of Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on the US.

In June, a bomb explosion outside the US Benghazi mission was claimed by the Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades as retaliation for the death of Al-Qaeda deputy leader Mohammed Hassan Qaed, a Libyan also known as Abu Yahya al-Libi. He was killed by a US drone attack in Pakistan on 4 June.

Shortly before Tuesday’s attack, Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri called for revenge in Libya and elsewhere for Libi’s death. More...

Reuters says that the attackers have been idebtified:

Libya identifies 50 involved in U.S. attack: official

TRIPOLI | Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:15am EDT

Libyan authorities have identified 50 people who were involved in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, a security official said on Saturday.

U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others died when gunmen attacked the consulate and a safe house refuge in the eastern city on Tuesday night. The attackers were part of a crowd blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

So far four people have been arrested and are being questioned, Libyan officials have said.

"We know of 50 people who were involved in the attack, we have names and we know who they are, but there could be more," Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya's Supreme Security Committee, said.

"Four have been arrested. Some of the others may have escaped via Benghazi airport, maybe to Egypt, but this not confirmed. We have given their names to all of the Libyan border entry points." More...

The Telegraph reports that Al-Qaeda is claiming credit:

Al-Qaida says US consulate attack 'revenge'

AFP September 15, 2012 11:57PM

AL-Qaeda said the deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya was in revenge for the killing of the network's number two Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Libi, SITE Intelligence Group reported.

"The killing of Sheikh Abu Yahya only increased the enthusiasm and determination of the sons of (Libyan independence hero) Omar al-Mokhtar to take revenge upon those who attack our Prophet," said al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said in a statement, quoted by the US-based monitoring group.

Al-Qaida's Yemen-based offshoot did not claim direct responsibility for Tuesday's attack on the US consulate in Benghazi that killed the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans.

But it stressed that "the uprising of our people in Libya, Egypt and Yemen against America and its embassies is a sign to notify the United States that its war is not directed against groups and organisations ... but against the Islamic nation that has rebelled against injustice."

The statement comes four days after al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a video eulogising Libi, his late deputy and propaganda chief who was killed in a drone strike in June.

Mohammed al-Megaryef, the head of Libya's national assembly, said today that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was planned and "meticulously executed." More...

Sat Sep 15, 2012 at 4:10 PM PT: The Libya Herald is now reporting that 7 Libyans were injured defending the consulate but none were killed:

No Libyans died in Benghazi attack

Tripoli, 15 September:

No Libyans died in Tuesday’s attack on the US mission in Benghazi, a source in the armed forces in the city has told the Libya Herald. Seven Libyan were, however, wounded. They were met yesterday by the president of the General National Congress, Mohamed Magarief. One of the wounded has been named as Abdul Aziz Al-Mijbri.

There have been widespread reports over the past three days that up to 10 Libyans died fighting against the militants in the attack late on Tuesday evening and as many as 18 were wounded. No one, however, has named those killed or stated they knew who they were. Attempts to find out have repeatedly drawn a blank.

Exactly where the story started in unclear.

Several Libyan senior figures, however, have repeated the claim, among them Libya’s ambassador to the UN Ibrahim Dabbashi. He was reported stating on Wednesday that up to 10 Libyan security staff were killed or wounded in the violence.

Libya’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadeq Al-Ghariani, in his fatwa condemning of the attack and the killings, also stated that Libyan security staff had been killed protecting the mission.

However, in a tweet, Prime Minister-elect, Mustafa Abushagur yesterday stated categorically that “no Libyans died in the attack”. More...

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Libya

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