US ambassador was breathing when found: Libyan witness

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 00:50

Cairo: Ambassador Chris Stevens was still breathing when Libyans stumbled across him inside a room in the American Consulate in Benghazi, pulled him out and drove him to a hospital after last week`s deadly attack in the eastern Libyan city, witnesses said Monday.

Fahd al-Bakoush, a freelance videographer, was among the Libyan civilians searching through the consulate after gunmen and protesters rampaged through it last Tuesday night.

Al-Bakoush told The Associated Press that he heard someone call out that he had tripped over a dead body.

A group of people gathered as several men pulled the seemingly lifeless form from the room. They saw he was alive and a foreigner, though no one recognised him as Stevens, al-Bakoush said.

He was breathing and his eyelids flickered, he said. "I tested his pulse and he was alive," he said "No doubt. His face was blackened and he was like a paralysed person."

Video taken by al-Bakoush and posted on YouTube shows Stevens being carried out of a small dark room through a window with a raised shutter and being laid on the floor.

One man touches his neck to feel for a pulse. Some of the men shout, "God is great."

The video has been authenticated since Stevens` face is clearly visible and he is wearing the same white t-shirt seen in authenticated photos of him being carried away on one another man`s shoulders, presumably moments later.

Two colleagues of al-Bakoush who also witnessed the scene confirmed that he took the footage.

Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack on the consulate, part of a wave of assaults on US diplomatic missions in Muslim countries over a film deemed offensive to Islam.


First Published: Monday, September 17, 2012 - 23:32

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