Libyan suspect in U.S. envoy attack killed in Cairo

CAIRO Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:36pm BST

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames during a protest by an armed group said to have been protesting a film being produced in the United States September 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori

CAIRO (Reuters) - A Libyan militant suspected by Egypt of involvement in last month's attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya has been killed during a raid by Egyptian security forces in Cairo, a security official said on Thursday.

The Libyan was killed on Wednesday in a raid targeting him and other militants with suspected links to al Qaeda in Cairo's eastern district of Nasr City, the official said. Four Egyptian militants were detained in the operation, he added.

The Libyan, identified as Karim Ahmed Essam el-Azizi, was killed by a bomb he had tried to use against the security forces during the raid, the security official said.

It was not immediately clear what role Azizi had played in the assault on the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on September 11, in which the ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed.

The security official, who asked not to be named, said Azizi had been living in a rented apartment in Nasr City for the past three months. He said police had found 15 bombs and various weapons, including assault rifles, in the Libyan's flat.

The attack on the Benghazi consulate has become a highly politicised issue in the U.S. presidential election campaign.

It occurred during a wave of Muslim protest over an anti-Islam film produced in California, which also sparked violence against U.S. diplomatic missions in Tunisia and Egypt.

However, official emails obtained by Reuters showed that the White House and State Department were advised two hours after the consulate attack that an Islamist militant group had claimed responsibility.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have acknowledged that the attack was a "terrorist" act by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathisers.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba and Yasmine Saleh, Writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alistair Lyon)