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US ambassador to Libya killed

· The Holy See concerned about violence ·

The United States ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, an official and two marines were killed yesterday night when the American consulate in Bengasi was attacked. According to the international press the ambassador and the other three Americans were killed by a rocket fired at their car. The Libyan authorities state that the victims died inside the consulate. The Deputy Minister of the Interior of Libya Wannis Al Sharef, in charge of the eastern part of the country, confirmed four dead and 14 injured.

The spark of protest that resulted in the assault on the U.S. Diplomatic mission in  Bengasi — on the anniversary of the September 11th  — was due to a film Innocence of Muslims produced by a group in California of Copts, which was deemed as offensive to Islam. In condeming the heinous attack and recalling those killed, President Barack Obama reiterated his administration's commitment to fighting every attempt at denigrating other religions.

The Director of the Holy See Press Federico Lombardi referred to the events as unacceptable violence in a statement to journalists.  “The serious consequences of unjustified offence and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers”, he stated, “are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred”.

The Holy See is following the situation moment by moment, concerned by the violence that is going in the opposite direction of Benedict XVI's upcoming Visit to Lebanon, Fr Lombardi said in an aside. “The message of dialogue and respect for all believers of different religions, which the Holy Father is preparing to carry with him on his forthcoming trip to Lebanon”, concluded the Director of the Holy See Press Office, “indicate the path that everyone should follow in order to construct shared and peaceful coexistence among religions and peoples”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2018

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