Barack Obama vows justice after US envoy killed in Libya
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President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday to bring to justice the killers of the US ambassador and three other diplomats in Libya as he sought to avoid election-year fallout from an attack that cast a spotlight on his administration's handling of Arab Spring unrest.
Standing in the White House Rose Garden, Obama condemned the attack in Benghazi as outrageous and shocking but insisted it would not threaten relations with Libya's new elected government, which took power in July after rebel forces backed by NATO air power overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.
The targeting of US diplomats in deadly militant violence sparked by a US-made film seen as insulting the Prophet Mohammad, could raise questions about Obama's policy toward Libya in the post-Gaddafi era as he seeks re-election in November.
Obama, apparently seeking to seize the initiative in the aftermath of the attack, pledged to work with the Libyan government to see that justice is done for this terrible act.
And make no mistake: justice will be done, Obama said, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at his side. He ordered increased security at US embassies around the world, and a Marine anti-terrorist team was dispatched to boost security for US personnel in Libya.
Ambassador Chris Stevens and three embassy staff were killed late on Tuesday when Islamist gun attacked the Benghazi consulate and a safe house refuge in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of last year's uprising against Gaddafi's 42-year rule. Another assault was mounted on the US embassy in Cairo.
Stevens, a 21-year veteran of the foreign service, was one of the first American officials on the ground in Benghazi during the uprising against Gaddafi last year.
Sean Smith, a foreign service information management officer, was identified as one of the diplomats killed. The names of the two others were withheld while the government notified their families.
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