تحولت السفارات الأمريكية حول العالم منذ منتصف القرن الماضي إلى هدف استراتيجي للمجموعات المسلحة التي ترفع شعارات معادية لـ"الإمبريالية" أو الولايات المتحدة من اليساريين والإسلاميين.
ويمثل مقتل السفير الأمريكي في ليبيا جون كريستوفر ستيفنز وثلاثة من الدبلوماسيين الأمريكيين في قنصلية الولايات المتحدة ببنغازي، الحادثة الخامسة لاغتيال سفير أمريكي في تاريخ الدبلوماسية الأمريكية، بينما يمثل الهجوم رقم 30 الذي يستهدف مقر سفارة أو قنصلية تابعة للولايات المتحدة خلال 60 عاماً.
Libyans tried to save US Ambassador Chris Stevens after finding him in a locked, smoke-filled room following last week's attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, according to the amateur video footage at the start of this video.
"I swear, he's dead," one Libyan says, peering in.
"Bring him out, man! Bring him out," another says.
"The man is alive. Move out of the way," others shout. "Just bring him out, man."
"Move, move, he is still alive!"
"Alive, Alive! God is great," the crowd erupts, while someone calls to bring a car to take him to hospital
"Is there a doctor around? Does anyone know a doctor?"
Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were killed after the US consulate in Benghazi came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades on September 11th during a protest against an anti-Islam film made in America.
Fahid al-Bakush, who shot the video, said he and his friends arrived at the scene at around 12.15 am after hearing about the attack.
Clips of the video on YouTube, sparked debate as to whether shouts of "Allahu Akbar" were uttered to celebrate the death of a foreigner or to express relief that the man was still alive.
But al-Bakush and his friends have no doubt that the crowd, who pulled out the ambassador from the blazing consulate, were trying to help and had no knowledge of his identity.
"People tried to clear space so he could breathe," witness Ahmed Shamsi said.
One picture provided by al-Bakush and his friends shows a man carrying the wounded American over his shoulder and heading towards a civilian car, in what they said was clear evidence they were trying to rush him to hospital to save him.
Seif Eddin Zoghbia was the general surgeon on duty when the ambassador was carried into the Benghazi Medical Centre.
"They were panicked," he recalled. "They wanted to save him at any cost."
For the next half hour, doctors and nurses tried to revive the body to no avail, said Zoghbia, adding that the ambassador died of asphyxiation and that there were no signs of trauma on his body.
There is, however, one nice story out of all this awfulness, and that has been the response of the people of Benghazi. A pro-United States demonstration was held 12 September, so that the non-terrorist citizens of Benghazi could differentiate themselves from the extremists who attacked the embassy. People interviewed expressed regret and sadness at these events.