Doctor: US ambassador died of asphyxia

2012-09-12 22:20
Chris Stevens (AFP)

Chris Stevens (AFP)

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Tripoli - The Libyan doctor who treated US ambassador Chris Stevens says the diplomat died of severe asphyxiation and that he tried for 90 minutes to revive him.

Ziad Abu Zeid told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Stevens was brought to the Benghazi Medical Centre by Libyans the night before, with no other Americans, and that initially no one realised he was the ambassador.

Abu Zeid said Stevens had "severe asphyxia", apparently from smoke inhalation, causing stomach bleeding, but had no other injuries.

Stevens and three American security guards died when the US Consulate in Benghazi came under attack from a mob angry over an anti-Islam film made in the US.

The crowd fired guns and rocket-propelled grenades and set fire to the consulate.

Meanwhile, AFP reports at least five Americans were wounded in the attack that the Washington envoy and three colleagues, according to a US official.

The US government was still trying to gather the facts but initial reports indicated at least five American civilians suffered wounds when the consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Tuesday, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

"About five or six people were wounded," the official said, without offering more details.

Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, said earlier that up to 10 members of the Libyan security forces were hurt or killed in their failed attempt to protect the compound belonging to their US ally.

US officials said the precise circumstances of the attack were still under investigation and that it was too soon to conclude exactly what transpired.

"It's too early to say," another US official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

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