US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are presiding over a transfer of remains ceremony at Andrew Air Force base in Maryland, the White House stated Friday.
The ceremony, which began at 2:15 p.m. EST, commemorates the four Americans killed at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya this week, as anti-US sentiment continues to brew across the Middle East and beyond, sparked by an anti-Muslim film.
CNN reports that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will also be on hand for the ceremony.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden reportedly met privately with victims families at Andrews as well, reports the Associated Press.
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The four Americans who perished in the Benghazi conflict are US Ambassador Chris Stevens, ex-Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and information management officer Sean Smith.
Here's a live video feed, via NBC, of the ceremony.
On Thursday, Secretary Clinton strongly condemned the attacks, and expressed her sympathy for the families of the dead.
"We condemn the attack that took the lives of these heroes in the strongest terms, and we are taking additional steps to safeguard American embassies, consulates, and citizens around the world. This violence should shock the conscience of people of all faiths and traditions," said Clinton.
"We appreciate the statements of support that have poured in from across the region and beyond. People of conscience and goodwill everywhere must stand together in these difficult days against violence, hate, and division."
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The remarkable uptick in violence across the Middle East — vividly represented by this live map — presents a profound foreign policy challenge to the US president in a hard-fought election year.
Meanwhile, US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has continued to hold the line on his controversial remarks condemning the Egyptian Embassy's Twitter "apology" to Muslim extremists, attempting to use the recent outbreak of violence to highlight Obama's alleged lack of leadership.
Richard Williamson, Romney's foreign policy advisor, claimed that the Obama administration's actions were partially to blame for the Libya and Egypt attacks, stating to the Washington Post that "there's a pretty compelling story that if you had a President Romney, you'd be in a different situation."