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January 1, 2008
US Diplomat Shot to Death in Sudan
A US diplomat working for the Agency for International Development was shot and killed along with his driver in the Sudanese capitol of Khartoum:
It was not immediately known if the attack had a political motive or was a random crime. Though Darfur, far to the west, is engulfed in violence, the Sudanese capital and its surroundings rarely see political violence or attacks by Islamic militants. What was an AID official doing driving around at 4:00 AM? Answering that question may go a long way tol solving the mystery of his shooting.
The Sudanese driver was killed immediately, and the American died of his injuries within hours, officials said.
"This afternoon, the American officer succumbed to his injuries and passed away," said Walter Braunohler, the spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. Braunohler said the diplomat, whose name was not released, worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry identified the wounded American as a humanitarian aid official and said he was shot five times in the hand, shoulder and belly. The diplomat underwent surgery following the attack, according to the ministry's statement.
The ministry identified the Sudanese driver who was killed as 40-year-old Abdel Rahman Abbas and said the attack occurred around 4 a.m. local time as the car was heading to a western suburb of Sudan's capital, Khartoum.
The diplomat's murder came just a day after a joint African Union-United Nations force was deployed in Darfur. No one knows if there is any connection to that event.