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U.S. Consulate Staff Member Killed in Libya Attack

An employee of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, eastern Libya, has died after fierce clashes at the compound, Al Jazeera quoted Libyan security sources as saying on Wednesday.

Armed assailants attacked the consulate building and set fire to it in what they described as a protest against a U.S.-produced amateur film that is said to be offensive to Islam's Prophet Muhammad. The attack followed similar protests in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

"One American staff member has died and a number have been injured in the clashes," Al Jazeera quoted Libyan Supreme Security Committee spokesman Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr as saying.

Al-Hurr added that rocket-propelled grenades had been fired at the consulate from a farm situated nearby.

The BBC quoted witnesses as saying the Benghazi protest prompted a confrontation between Libyan government security forces and the Ansar al-Sharia brigade, an armed militia.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack in Benghazi.

In the Egyptian capital, the U.S. flag, flying at half mast to mark the 9/11 attacks, was on Tuesday torn down by demonstrators, who replaced it with an Islamist banner.

[Source: Ria Novosti, Moscow, 12Sep12]

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