From Cheryl Pellerin of American Forces Press Service:
During a teleconference given on background to reporters, the official described the scene of an attack whose elements are unclear or unknown but that killed U.S. Amb. J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service information management officer Sean Smith and two others whose names are being withheld until State Department officials notify their families. Three other Americans were wounded in the attack.
All Benghazi consulate personnel have been evacuated to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli in a series of flights that included the three wounded personnel and the remains of the fallen State Department officials, the official said.
The Benghazi consulate staff will be transported to Germany, she said.
“The staff that is well is going to stay in Europe on standby while we assess the security situation,” she said. “The wounded will be treated [at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center] in Germany, and the remains will come home.”
Also here this afternoon, Libyan ambassador to the United States Ali Suleiman Aujali held a press conference to condemn the attack on the Benghazi consulate and the deaths of embassy personnel.
“It is a sad day in my life. I knew Chris personally. He's my tennis partner. He comes to my house. We have breakfast together. I’ve known him for more than six years. He may be the first American diplomat to [have arrived] in Tripoli … after the revolution. He’s very welcomed by the people. He visited the Libyans. He [ate] with them. He [sat] with them,” Aujali said.
Aujali also offered his country’s “deep condolences” to the American people, to the families, and the president.
“We are very sorry for what happened,” Aujali said. “We will do everything possible … to [ensure] that we have better relations, better protection [for] the American diplomats and [for] the international community … working in our country.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were killed and wounded in the service of our country.
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center has played a major role in many world events. Today, LRMC provides medical treatment to casualties injured during Operation Enduring Freedom. LRMC treated the victims of the USS Cole bombing in October 2000. The hospital has also played a integral part in the repatriation of the three American soldiers who were taken prisoners of war in Yugoslavia in March 1999, and treated American and Kenyan victims of the U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi in August 1998. In 1994, it served as the treatment point for hundreds of Bosnian refugees injured in the Sarajevo marketplace bombing, as well as treating victims of the 1988 Ramstein Air Show disaster, and the victims of the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. During Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990/1991, more than 4,000 service members from that region were treated at the facility, and more than 800 U.S. Military personnel deployed to Somalia were evacuated and treated here.
The three diplomats injured in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya are being treated at an American military hospital in Germany and one of the two most seriously wounded is expected to leave the intensive care unit on Thursday.
A State Department status report obtained by The Associated Press says the third injured staffer is awake and alert at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center near the Ramstein Air Base, where 33 uninjured consulate personnel are staying and receiving military counseling. All were evacuated from Benghazi early Wednesday and arrived in Germany late that afternoon along with the remains of the four diplomats.
According to the report, the injured staffers "are doing relatively well" and most want to return to Libya.