Killed ...  J. Christopher Stevens.

Killed ... J. Christopher Stevens. Photo: AFP

Libya's Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur said the US ambassador to the country, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed during an attack on the consulate in Benghazi yesterday.

"I condemn the cowardly and criminal act that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was subjected to and the killing of the ambassador and his companions," Abu Shagur said on his Twitter account.

The death of the ambassador was reported by Sky News Arabia, citing unidentified people. The channel said three other people were killed. The State Department confirmed a diplomat's death without identifying the victim.

In Cairo, the government placed about 400 security forces around the embassy, where demonstrators scaled the walls yesterday, as smaller protests continued today.

The violence, which recalls the worldwide protests in 2005 after a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting Mohamed, follows the revival of Islamist politics in both countries after uprisings last year ousted longtime leaders. American air power helped Libya's insurgents overthrow Muammar Qaddafi, while in Egypt the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood has strained a three-decade alliance with the U.S.

Bloomberg