TRIPOLI  - Deputy US Secretary of State William Burns flew to Libya Thursday amid tight security for a ceremony to honour ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans who were killed in Benghazi last week. Burns met Foreign Minister Ashur Ben Khayal on arrival and was also expected to meet Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur and Mohammed al-Megaryef, head of the national assembly. Tripoli was on Thursday holding a ceremony in honour of the four Americans who were killed on September 11, when armed men attacked the US consulate in the country’s second city Benghazi and torched it.

 The assault was originally blamed on protesters angered by an anti-Islam film made in America, but neither US nor Libyan officials have excluded the possibility that it was a pre-planned operation supported by Al-Qaeda. In Benghazi, a city once pumped with pride for spearheading the uprising that ended 42 years of dictatorship under Moamer Gaddafi, many people are furious that their reputation has been ruined by radical elements. “We denounce such shameful actions,” said Leila Taherbughaighis, medical director of the Benghazi Medical Centre where doctors fought to revive Stevens. “It is not part of our culture and not part of our religion. The real people from Benghazi loved Chris.”