BREAKING NEWS ALERT MIDDLE EAST DIPLOMATIC COMPOUNDS ATTACKED
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(CNN) -- The United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed in a rocket attack on the U.S. Consulate in the city of Benghazi on Tuesday, President Obama said Wednesday.
"I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens," Obama said in a statement.
"Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States," Obama said.
The other three victims were American security staff, said a contractor working at the mission, who asked not to be named for security reasons.
Protesters attack U.S. diplomatic compounds in Egypt, Libya
Cairo (CNN) -- The United States said it was taking measures to protect its citizens worldwide after protesters angry about an online film considered offensive to Islam attacked U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday.
In Cairo, several men scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy and tore down its American flag, according to CNN producer Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who was on the scene.
In Libya, witnesses say members of a radical Islamist group called Ansar al-Sharia protested near the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where NATO jets established no-fly zones last year to blunt ground attacks from then Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
The group then clashed with security forces in the city, blocking roads leading to the consulate, witnesses said.
A U.S. State Department officer was killed in the violence in Benghazi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement late Tuesday.
"We are heartbroken by this terrible loss," Clinton said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who have suffered in this attack."
Clinton said that she condemned the attack on the U.S. facilities "in the strongest terms" and that following Tuesday's events, the U.S. government was "working with partner countries around the world to protect our personnel, our missions and American citizens worldwide."
Libya's General National Conference also condemned the attack, saying it "led to the regrettable injury and death of a number of individuals." Lawmakers said in a statement Tuesday night that they were investigating.