Video purportedly shows crowds jeering over the body of Ambassador Stevens

 

A YouTube poster using the handle "Abdalgadar Fadi"  uploaded a video on the  Arabic language version of the site that has been interpreted to a cheering crowd dragging the unconscious body of American Ambassador Christopher Steven at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  
 
A translation of the text appearing below the video has been rendered as "Moment directed the U.S. ambassador before his death" , while a headline says “U.S. Ambassador and the people of Benghazi rescue attempt before his death.” The body dragged by the crowd appears to be wearing the same belt, trousers and undershirt seen in a photo of the ambassador here:
 
 
 
The accuracy of the video and the accompanying text are still to be ascertained, while it has been circulated widely on Twitter and Facebook.
 
Various interpretations and translations have been made of the video and its audio track. Some of the men present can be heard to shout "Allahu Akbar" - Allah is great - but viewers differ as to whether or not it means these were shouts of exultation over the ambassador's death. Some viewers have noted that people in the video can be heard to say "Lift him” and "bring him out," even while no reason was given by some Arabic-speaking viewers as to the reason why the crowd is cheering.
 
According to Breitbart News, Jenan Moussa - "Roving Reporter for Arabic Al Aan TV from Dubai - claims that some men in the video were saying "he's alive" and "lift him". Her interpretation is that the men were cheering when they apparently thought he was still alive. The New York Times provided a translation:
  
“I swear, he’s dead,” one Libyan says, peering in.
“Bring him out, man! Bring him out,” another says.
“The man is alive. Move out of the way,” others shout. “Just bring him out, man.”
“Move, move, he is still alive!”
“Alive, Alive! God is great,” the crowd cheers, as someone calls for a car.
 
Ambassador Stevens was soon pronounced dead at a hospital in Benghazi. Cause of death: acute asphyxiation. 


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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