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US official killed in Libya was a senior Eve Online player

UPDATED: "Our words are lost adrift amongst such a tremendous, soul-affirming outpouring from the EVE community" - CCP

UPDATED: Ned Coker of CCP has emailed Eurogamer with the following tribute to Sean "Vile Rat" Smith, the leading Eve Online player killed in Libya.

"I can tell you that CCP and its employees are overwhelmingly saddened by the news of Sean Smith's passing, as we are when we learn of any player who is tragically lost. Many of us interacted with him professionally and personally and, honestly, it feels like our words are lost adrift--amongst such a tremendous, soul-affirming outpouring from the EVE community. The CSM, of which he is an alumni, will be posting a guest dev blog in his honor."

ORIGINAL STORY: The US official killed during a US consulate attack in the Libyan city of Benghazi was Sean Smith, otherwise known Eve Online player Vile Rat - director of the notorious Goonswarm alliance and former member of the player-elected Council of Stellar Management.

BBC News reported that armed militiamen raided the compound with grenades and then set it on fire. They had been protesting about a US-produced film they claimed insulted the Prophet Mohammed. One other American was injured.

Infamous Eve Online player Alex "The Mittani" Gianturco was a personal friend of Sean Smith.

"So: Vile Rat, Sean Smith, my friend for over six years, both in real life and in internet spaceships, was the 'State Department Official' killed in Benghazi by a mob of religious lunatics, who had been incited to violence on this September 11th by a movie that was apparently made sometime in July," Gianturco wrote on his website.

"Obviously, given the combined attacks in Egypt and in Libya, this was a coordinated act designed for maximum media exposure; rile up a mob, point them at an embassy or consulate on 9/11 in particular, aim for the press. Many were injured in these pointless, reprehensible acts, and one of my closest friends was killed as a result."

Gianturco shared a chat room message posted by Vile Rat, presumably from earlier that day.

"(12:54:09 PM) vile_rat: assuming we don't die tonight. We saw one of our 'police' that guard the compound taking pictures."

"We knew that Vile Rat was in Benghazi," Gianturco added, "he told us. He commented on how they use guns to celebrate weddings and how there was a constant susurrus of weaponry in the background. He was in situ to provide IT services for the consulate, which meant he was on the net all the time, hanging out with us on Jabber as usual and talking about internet spaceship games."

Gianturco said Sean Smith had been in a similar position in Baghdad "in 2007 or 2008".

"He would be on jabber, then say something like 'incoming' and vanish for a while as the Kayatushas came down from Sadr City - State had been in the former Saddam Hussein palace on the Tigris before they built that $2bn fortress-embassy later.

Gianturco said he and Smith met up a couple of times a year in the US, and would see each other in Iceland for CSM (Council of Stellar Management) meetings.

Gianturco, The Mittani, broke the news to the Goonswarm alliance with the following message.

"My people, I have grievous news. Vile Rat has been confirmed to be KIA in Benghazi; his family has been informed and the news is likely to break out on the wire services soon. Needless to say, we are in shock, have no words, and have nothing but sympathy for his family and children. I have known Vile Rat since 2006, he was one of the oldest of old-guard goons and one of the best and most effective diplomats this game has ever seen.

"His family are in our thoughts and prayers."

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