United Nations condemns attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 12 Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:49am EDT

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The United Nations strongly condemned on Wednesday an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff and said the "horrific and tragic attack" further spotlighted the security challenges facing Libyan authorities.

"The United Nations rejects defamation of religion in all forms, but there is no justification for violence such as occurred in Benghazi," U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the U.N. Security Council during a regularly scheduled briefing on Libya.

The U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff were killed on Tuesday as they rushed away from a consulate building in Benghazi that was stormed by al Qaeda-linked gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

Libya's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi told the U.N. Security Council that an investigation was underway and Libyan authorities would bring those responsible to justice.

"This attack in no way serves the interests of the people or the Libyan authorities and cannot be considered as a defense of Islam," Dabbashi said. "This attack gravely damages the image of Islam."

German U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig told reporters before the meeting that the 15-nation Security Council hoped to issue a statement soon condemning the killings.