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Deadly attack on Benghazi police station

One person killed and police building torched just as US names new ambassador to the volatile country.

Last Modified: 15 May 2013 19:59
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Police said the building housing the police was set on fire in another attack on Wednesday [Reuters]

At least one person has been killed in an overnight attack on a police station in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, police say.

Police said the building housing the police was set on fire in another attack on Wednesday.

The dead man was one of the attackers in the overnight raid, police sources said, adding they believed the fire had been started as an act of revenge by his relatives.

The attack came as the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved President Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to Libya.

The post has been vacant since fighters attacked the diplomatic mission in Benghazi last September, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Wihout much discussion, the panel on a voice vote approved Deborah Kay Jones, a career diplomat who has served in Kuwait, Argentina, Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

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Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat and chairman of the committee, praised Jones, saying the vacancy needed to be filled amid increasing lawlessness in Libya.

On Monday, a deadly car bomb exploded near a hospital in Benghazi and officials gave conflicting numbers on the death toll.

"There is simply no substitute for having a confirmed US ambassador on the ground, reaching outside the wire to the Libyan people as they shape a safer, more productive and inclusive future,'' Menendez said.

At her confirmation hearing earlier this month, Jones promised to work to ensure sufficient security at US facilities.

She said the ambassador was the principle security officer and vowed to simply pick up the phone and call Washington if she felt security was lax.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Jones would take over an ambassadorship that has been vacant for nearly eight months.

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