Al-Qaeda blamed for US consulate attack

2012-09-14 22:15
President Mohammed el-Megarif (AFP)

President Mohammed el-Megarif (AFP)

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Benghazi - The head of Libya's national assembly on Friday blamed al-Qaeda for an attack on the US consulate in the city of Benghazi that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Mohammed el-Megarif laid a bouquet of flowers in front of the consulate where Stevens died on Tuesday when suspected Islamic militants fired on the compound with rocket-propelled grenades and set it ablaze.

Visibly moved, the General National Congress president said he regretted the loss of "a friend of Libyans who rendered laudable services to Libya."

Surrounded by heavy security, el-Megarif was accompanied by Libya's military chief of staff Yussef al-Mangush.

US officials are investigating the possibility that the assault was an al-Qaeda-linked plot using a protest against an anti-Islam film as cover to mark the anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks on the United States.

El-Megarifpointed a finger at the militant group.

"The film was made six months ago. How can you explain that this incident coincided with 11 September. We mustn't lie to ourselves," he told AFP, without naming al-Qaeda.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, el-Megarif had blamed the attack on both al-Qaeda elements and remnants of Muammar Gaddafi regime which was toppled last year in a brutal conflict.

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