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The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she accepted responsibility for the fatal attack on an American mission in Libya last year, but she defended herself over specific allegations, particularly from John McCain, of a cover-up.

She was testifying to the Senate foreign relations committee. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack.

“You know, I do feel responsible,” Clinton said, “I feel responsible for nearly 70,000 people who work for the state department. The specific security requests pertaining to Benghazi were handled by the security professionals in the department. I didn’t see those requests. They didn’t come to me. I didn’t approve them, I didn’t deny them. These requests don’t ordinarily come to the Secretary of State.”

Attackers overran the building in Benghazi on September 11 last year.

The committee heard a senior Republican senator claim that the US response to revolutionary events in the middle east showed “woeful unpreparedness”.

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