September 15, 2013
Fumbling in the dark, the American ambassador hurriedly pulled on bullet-proof body armour over his blue trousers and T-shirt. A shrill warning siren was sounding and the crash of gunshots could be heard, getting closer by the second.
‘Follow me, sir,’ urged a diplomatic bodyguard, gripping his M4 assault rifle, shouldering an additional pump-action shotgun and looking anxiously around him as they set out along blacked-out corridors. ‘We are under attack.’
It was 9.40pm in the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, the second city of strife-torn Libya, a country trying to re-build itself in the aftermath of civil war and the ousting and killing of its mad dictator, Colonel Gaddafi.