The Washington Post

How often are ambassadors killed in the line of duty?

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed along with three other diplomats Wednesday in Benghazi when a rocket-propelled grenade struck their vehicle.


In addition to Stevens, here are some of the other U.S. ambassadors killed by in terror attacks in the last half-century:

John Gordon Mein, Guatemala (Aug. 28, 1968):Mein was ordered out of his limousine and gunned down in Guatemala City by guerrillas.

Cleo A. Noel, Jr., Sudan (March 1, l973): Noel was killed in an attack by guerrillas from the militant group Black September in the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Sudan.

Rodger P. Davies, Cyprus (Aug. 19, 1974): Davies was shot during a protest against the embassy following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Francis E. Meloy, Jr., Lebanon (June 16, 1976): Meloy, his economic adviser and their driver were kidnapped by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and shot to death. The killers were acquitted in 1996 on the grounds that their cases fell within the scope of a 1991 amnesty law that covers crimes committed during wartime.

Adolph Dubs, Afghanistan (Feb. 14, 1979): Dubs was kidnapped by armed militants and held in the Kabul Hotel. They demanded the release of Badruddin Bahes, an imprisoned leader of their party. After an exchange of gunfire between Afghan police and the kidnappers, an American Embassy medical team found Dubs seated in a chair with several bullet wounds in his head and chest. 

Two other U.S. ambassadors have died in plane crashes during the same period:

Arnold L. Raphel, in Pakistan, 1988

Laurence A. Steinhardt, in Canada, 1950


More world news coverage:

- China sends patrols to Japan’s islands

- Hope that Colombia’s war might end

- In Yemen, a fierce battle with al-Qaeda

- Read more headlines from around the world


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