Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
The United States Mission in Jamaica yesterday declared it was outraged and saddened by "the cowardly attack and tragic loss of life of US diplomatic and security personnel in Libya" on Tuesday.
The victims include United States ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.
"We express heartfelt sympathy to the families of our colleagues who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation, and to their friends and co-workers," the local mission said in a statement. "We honour them for their professionalism and courage under difficult circumstances."
The local mission's statement followed a similar one from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said early yesterday that it was with "profound sadness" that she was sharing the news of the deaths of four American personnel in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday.
Stevens reportedly died from injuries he sustained in the attack on the US office in Benghazi. He is the first US diplomat to die in the line of duty since 1979.
PASSION FOR SERVICE
"I had the privilege of swearing in Chris for his post in Libya only a few months ago," Clinton recalled. "He spoke eloquently about his passion for service, for diplomacy and for the Libyan people."
In its statement yesterday, the local mission said: "As the American community in Jamaica grieves at our collective loss, we wish to express our deep appreciation to the Government of Jamaican, our many Jamaican friends and diplomatic colleagues, who share our sadness and have reached out to us to express their condolences."