Christopher Stevens latest US ambassador to die on duty
The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi claimed another life in America’s senior diplomatic ranks
THE death of a senior serving American diplomat in violent circumstances is not as rare an occurrence as Washington would wish. Christopher Stevens (above left), the US ambassador to Libya, died yesterday in a rocket attack on the American consulate in Benghazi during Muslim protests against the appearance on YouTube of a film that ridiculed Islam. Stevens is the sixth serving US ambassador to have been killed on duty since 1968. The others were:
Adolph Dubs – Afghanistan, 1979: Dubs was kidnapped in Kabul by Maoist armed militants posing as policemen. Afghan officials and Russian advisers refused to negotiate with the hostage-takers, and sent security forces to swarm the hotel where the ambassador was being held. Dubs was killed in an exchange of fire during the ensuing stand-off.
Francis E. Meloy Jr. – Lebanon, 1976: At the start of the Lebanese Civil War, Ambassador Meloy’s car was ambushed as it crossed the Green Line. His body, along with that of economic counsellor Robert O. Waring and driver Mohammed Moghrabi, was found a short time later on the beach in Ramlet al-Baida. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for his death.
Rodger P. Davies - Cyprus, 1974: Davies was killed by sniper fire during a demonstration outside the US embassy in Nicosia. The gunman was believed to have been part of the Greek-Cypriot paramilitary group EOKA-B, a key player in the military coup that had installed President Nikos Sampson one month before.
Cleo A. Noel Jr. - Sudan, 1973: On the evening of March 1, 1973, militants from the Black September faction of the PLO stormed the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, where a farewell ceremony for the outgoing charge d'affairs was taking place. Noel was taken hostage and executed the next day, along with his deputy and a Belgian diplomat.
John Gordon Mein - Guatemala, 1968: Returning from lunch in Guatemala City, Ambassador Mein’s Cadillac was confronted by a guerrilla group belonging to Guatemala’s Rebel Armed Forces. He was ordered out of his car at gunpoint and shot just one block away from the US consulate.