September 12th, 2012
06:33 PM ET

How the Benghazi attack unfolded

Senior administration officials provided a timeline of what unfolded inside the Benghazi diplomatic mission:

4p ET (10p in Libya)
The U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi began taking fire from unidentified Libyan extremists.

4:15p ET
The attackers accessed the compound and fired into the main building setting it on fire. The Libyan guard force and mission security responded. Three people are inside the building: Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith, and a regional security officer. Trying to evacuate, the three became separated because of the heavy smoke. The regional security officer made it outside of the building and then he and other security personnel returned into the burning building in an attempt to rescue Stevens and Smith. They found Smith dead and pulled him from the building. They were unable to locate the ambassador before being driven outside of the building again because of the fire and smoke.

4:45p ET
US security personnel assigned to the nearby mission annex tried to regain control of the main building but took heavy fire and had to retreat.

5:20p ET
US and Libyan personnel made another attempt and were able to regain control of the main building and secure it. Due to small arms fire the rest of the personnel in the nearby annex are evacuated.

6p ET
The annex comes under fire, which continues for two hours. Two additional US personnel were killed and two more wounded.

8:30p ET
Security of the compound is regained with assistance from Libyan security forces.

At some point during the attack officials believe Ambassador Stevens got out of the main building and was taken to a hospital in Benghazi. His condition at that time is unknown. His body was later returned to US personnel at the Benghazi airport.

Filed under: Libya • Libya • State Department
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Yugoslavia

    This is result of blind american politics in all World. He was (ambassador) , as you Pentagon dictionary says: Collateral damage of US policy ... as you use that word in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan. Average US citizen doesn't know basic information's in geography but he has HIS interest in every corner of this world. Well that's so arrogant and stupid – and producing more enemies all over as you can neutralize. So at the end, you will close your borders, live in fear because every person that surround you is terrorist, and have you cheap gasoline... and your Patriotic Act. You will have your victory but at the same way you will be defeated.
    I'm sorry for his family and his life (and for any human – that you will kill in next months to show your citizen that you have revenged his death.. support one regime to destroy another.
    At the end we (the rest of the World) will save you from yourselves!

    September 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  2. bob

    saeed is a into men and children. He he got rid of them then he could claim he wasn't a muslim child predator who enjoys making them dance. What a d_o_u_c_h_e

    September 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  3. saeed

    a good usa citizen or british citizen is a dead usa or british citizen soon taliban will smuggle a iranian nuke into london or dublin and boom it ill be high sesone for killing british children.

    September 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • Spades

      Killing children??? I know of NO child that has provoked such atrocities by anyone!!!

      September 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
    • FutureSEAL

      You know what else is funny a marine scout sniper pussing on your dead body

      September 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Reply
    • Persia

      Dont get us involved.we will never give our nukes to terrorist groups.

      September 13, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply
    • Hello

      Everyone reacting to his comments are exactly what he wants...the guy is looking for attention and a reaction out of the American people. Do not feed in to it-for all those reacting are only enabling him to carry on his objective. The guy post offensive remarks on just about every article-lets be smarter and not let it get under our skin. Chances are his ethnic background doesn't even match his name and he is one of those people that cant cope with society.

      September 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Reply

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