According to a CBS News report updated at 8:39 am Eastern time Wednesday, the Libyan security forces hired to protect the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya moved Ambassador Chris Stevens to a second building within the consulate, then told the militant crowds where he was:
Wanis al-Sharef, a Libyan Interior Ministry official in Benghazi, said the four Americans were killed when the angry mob, which gathered to protest a U.S.-made film that ridicules Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, fired guns and burned down the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
He said Stevens, 52, and other officials were moved to a second building, deemed safer, after the initial wave of protests at the consulate. According to al-Sharef, members of the Libyan security team seem to have indicated to the protesters the building to which the American officials had been relocated, and that building then came under attack.
Stevens, 52, was the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
Though information on the circumstances surrounding Ambassador Stevens’s death remain unclear, it appears that the embassy was not guarded by American Marines, but instead by local Libyans hired to act as a security force.
Questions about the cause of Ambassador Stevens’ death remain unanswered. Initial reports indicated that he died when the car he was in was hit by a grenade launcher. Subsequent reports indicate that he was suffocated.
But some reports indicated that he may not have been killed in an attack on the car, but instead was dragged through the crowd and killed in some other manner. A photograph purporting to be of Ambassador Stevens, who appears to be still alive, but being dragged through a crowd of militant protesters, appeared on the website National Turk.
In addition to Ambassador Stevens, two Marines and an embassy staff member were killed. The Marines appeared to have been sent in from another location just as the protest erupted.