When militants stormed the US consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday and killed four people, Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens became the eighth American diplomat to die in the line of duty.
According to the US State Department Office of the Historian, terrorists have killed six ambassadors, while two died in plane crashes.
Adolph (Spike) Dubs
Appointed ambassador to Afghanistan in June 1978, Dubs was working just a few months when he died.
Militants from the group Setami Milli abducted Dubs in hopes of using the 58-year-old American diplomat to negotiate the release of their leader.
Instead, Afghan police and Soviet advisers stormed the hotel room where kidnappers held Dubs, and he was caught in the crossfire on February 14, 1979.
Francis E. Meloy Jr.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine kidnapped Meloy, US Economic Counselor Robert O. Waring and their driver as they traveled in Beirut, Lebanon.
They were crossing a checkpoint that separated Christian and Muslim sections of Beirut.
Militants later shot them to death.
The US Ambassador to Lebanon was 59 when he died on June 16, 1976.
Rodger P. Davies
A sniper killed Davies and embassy staffer Antoinette Varnava during a demonstration outside the American embassy in Cyprus on August 19, 1974.
He was trying to keep his staff safe during the demonstration, International Policy Digest reported.
The sniper was from the same Greek Cypriot paramilitary group – EOKA-B – that staged a coup d’état one month before Davies arrived on the island nation.
Cleo A. Noel Jr.
Eight members of the Palestinian terrorist cell Black September raided an embassy event in Khartoum, Sudan on March 1, 1973.
After negotiating for more than 24 hours, the kidnappers shot and killed Noel, Chargé d’Affaires George Curtis Moore and a Belgian diplomat.
Black September also killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
Noel, who also served in Italy, France, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and could speak Arabic, died at age 54.
John Gordon Mein
The first US diplomat killed by terrorists, Mein died on August 28, 1968 in Guatemala City.
Gunman opened fire as Mein’s car approached the US Consulate.
Members of the Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes guerrilla group killed Mein, who was 54 when he died.
Arnold L. Raphel
Raphel died in a plane crash on August 17, 1988, near Bhawalpur, Pakistan.
The 45-year-old Raphel began working in the US Foreign Service in 1967.
Pakistani President Zia ul-Haq also died in the crash along with 30 others.
Laurence A. Steinhardt
The first American diplomat to die on the job, Steinhardt’s plane crashed on March 28, 1950 while en route to Washington, DC.
Steinhardt, 57, was Ambassador to Canada and worked in Sweden, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Peru and the Soviet Union.
His plane crashed near Ramsayville, Ontario, Canada.
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