Hillary Clinton.jpg
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) at their 42nd International Convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 19 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU/MARK DAMON / HANDOUT

The families of two US citizens killed in a 2012 terror attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to media reports.

In their suit announced Monday, the families of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods charge Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time of the attack, with "extreme carelessness" in how she handled classified information on her private email server, according to the New York Times.

They also say Clinton made "false and defamatory statements negligently, recklessly and purposefully and/or intentionally with malice," in the wake of the attack, which left four US citizens dead, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

Patricia Smith, one of the litigants and a supporter of Clinton's Republican opponent Donald Trump, appeared at the Republican national convention last month and said she blamed Hillary Clinton "personally" for the death of her son.

Clinton's actions surrounding the Benghazi tragedy were the subject of numerous investigations by congressional Republicans, but none found her directly at fault, though the existence of her private email server was revealed in the process.

In another election development, prominent Republican US senator Susan Collins of Maine penned an op-ed in the Washington Post saying she could not support Trump, her party's current standard-bearer.

Collins said she was "deeply concerned that Mr Trump's lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so."

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