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Lugar mourns loss of ex-staffer Stevens

Slain U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff of Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., in 2006 and 2007.

“I benefited greatly from his knowledge and insightful counsel on a wide array of Middle East issues,” Lugar said in a statement Wednesday.

“It was obvious to those of us who worked with him that he was a rising star who would be entrusted with important missions in the future,” said Lugar, chairman of the committee in 2006 and its top-ranking Republican since 2007.

“His work in Libya improved U.S. national security and diplomacy in very tangible ways,” Lugar said.

Lugar and others in the Indiana congressional delegation condemned the attack that killed Stevens and three other Americans.

In a statement, Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., called Stevens’ death a “senseless murder” and “a stark reminder that our war against radical Islamic terrorists is ongoing.”

Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, a candidate for governor, said in a statement the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya “is an assault on America and freedom.”

Reps. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, and Dan Burton, R-5th, also issued statements condemning the attack.