A high-powered assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was a spontaneous reaction to a film deemed offensive to Islam, the US ambassador to the United Nations said today.

She said it was not a premeditated assault tied to the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Unnerved by the rapidly escalating raid on Tuesday that claimed the life of the ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, the White House had last week launched an investigation into whether terrorist groups had exploited outrage over the video to trigger an attack long in the works.

But Ambassador Susan Rice said evidence gathered so far shows no indications of a premeditated or coordinated strike.

She said the deadly protest in Benghazi appeared to be a copycat of demonstrations that had erupted hours earlier outside the US Embassy in Cairo.

(This article was published on September 17, 2012)
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