GOLDEN, Colo., - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had ordered his administration to do whatever is necessary to protect Americans abroad, as US diplomatic compounds in the Middle East faced continuing violent protests.

Obama, speaking at a re-election campaign rally in Golden, Colorado, also said he and his aides had been in contact with other governments "to let them know they've got a responsibility to protect our citizens."

Obama was speaking after the US ambassador to Libya and three other diplomats were killed after gunmen attacked the US consulate and a safe house refuge in Benghazi on Tuesday night. The attackers were part of a mob blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad. Demonstrators attacked the US embassies in Yemen and Egypt on Thursday.

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