Sep 12, 2012 01:37 PM EDT
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Chris Stevens; U.S. Ambassador To Libya Killed In Rocket Attack;

By Donovan Jackson
Chris Stevens
(Photo : Reuters) U.S. envoy Stevens chats to people waiting for a news conference held by leaders of Libya's rebel leadership after talks with representatives of the African Union in Benghazi

A U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed along with three others in a rocket attack outside the American Consulate in Benghazi-ignited by protesters angry over a film they say insulted Prophet Muhammad.

Initial reports said the slain embassy staffers-who also include Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith-were trying to flee the consulate building when they were fired upon. According to the Associated Press, a Libyan doctor who treated Stevens said the diplomat died of severe asphyxiation from smoke inhalation and that he tried for 90 minutes to revive him.

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Stevens, 52, was the first U.S. ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979, when Adolph Dubs, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was gunned down in a kidnapping attempt.

Chris Stevens was a California native and U.C.-Berkeley graduate, and a 21-year veteran of Foreign Service, the White House said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement, "He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people. This assignment was only the latest in his more than two decades of dedication to advancing closer ties with the people of the Middle East and North Africa."

According to Foreign Policy reports, in response to the attack, the United States is "deploying elite Marine counterterrorism teams to Libya. The Pentagon is sending Fleet Anti-Terrorism Teams, or FAST teams, a U.S. defense official told the magazine.

Wednesday morning President Obama said in a statement while at the White House," It's especially tragic because Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city he fought to save,"

Mitt Romney also made a statement while speaking at a press conference in Jacksonville, Fla., on Wednesday. Romney define the attacks as being "disgusting" and "outrageous" while simultaneously finding opportunity to attack the Obama administration for standing by a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo that he claimed was an "apology" for American values.

According to the U.S. Embassy website: Steven's bio reads;

Ambassador Chris Stevens considers himself fortunate to participate in this incredible period of change and hope for Libya. As the President's representative, his job is to develop a strong, mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and Libya. Ambassador Stevens was the American representative to the Transitional National Council in Benghazi during the revolution.

When he's not meeting with government officials or foreign diplomats, you can find Ambassador Stevens meeting with Libyan academics, business people, and civil society activists, exploring Libya's rich archaeological sites, and enjoying Libya's varied cuisine.

After several diplomatic assignments in the Middle East and North Africa, Ambassador Stevens understands and speaks Arabic and French. He likes the Facebook page of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli and hopes you will, too.

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