UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations strongly condemned on Wednesday an attack that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three embassy staff and said the "horrific and tragic attack" further spotlighted the security challenges facing Libyan authorities.

"The United Nations rejects defamation of religion in all forms, but there is no justification for violence such as occurred in Benghazi," UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told the UN Security Council during a regularly scheduled briefing on Libya.

The US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff were killed on Tuesday as they rushed away from a consulate building in Benghazi that was stormed by al-Qaida-linked gunmen blaming America for a film they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad.

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