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Motive Unclear in Shooting of US Diplomat in Sudan


The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum says it is unclear why an American diplomat and his driver were shot and killed early Tuesday in the Sudanese capital. The diplomat was identified as 33-year-old John Granville, his driver was a 40-year-old Sudanese national Abdel Rahman Abbas. VOA correspondent Alisha Ryu in our East Africa Bureau in Nairobi reports on the shooting that has shocked the diplomatic community in Khartoum.

The spokesman for the U.S. Embassy, Walter Braunohler, tells VOA that the diplomat, an official working for the U.S. Agency for International Development, died while being treated for his wounds.

"Unfortunately, he succumbed to them and passed away," he said. "It is too early to tell why, exactly what happened, etc. There is an investigation on-going, and we are working closely with local authorities."

Braunohler declined to comment on a Sudanese Foreign Ministry statement, which said the American diplomat was in his car when he was shot five times in the hand, shoulder and stomach. The Sudanese statement said the car was heading toward a suburb west of Khartoum.

The driver, a 40-year-old Sudanese national working for the embassy, was killed instantly.

American and Sudanese officials say they do not know whether the attack was a random criminal act or had a political motive.

U.S.-Sudanese relations have been tense because of the violence in Sudan's Darfur region.

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