US diplomat shot and killed in Sudan

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

An American Foreign Service diplomat for USAID, the United States Agency for International Development and former Peace corps voluteer has been shot and killed in Sudan.

John Granville, aged 33 from Buffalo, New York was traveling home from a New Years Eve party in Khartoum when his car was ambushed in a residential area of the city. His driver, Abdel Rahman Abbas aged 40 who was an employee for the U.S. embassy in Sudan was also shot and killed in what the embassy described as a 'hail of gunfire'.

"This afternoon, the American officer succumbed to his injuries and passed away. We are working closely with local authorities to investigate the incident," said the embassy in a statement.

Granville was shot five times and taken to a hospital where he later died. Abbas was killed instantly. It is not yet known whether the attack was a random act of violence, or if Granville was exclusively targeted.

"At this point we're not ruling anything out, but we don't know," said spokesman for the U.S. embassy, Walter Braunohler.

Despite the embassy's statement, the Sudanese government claims that a fight between people in two other cars, one with "foreigners," near Granville turned deadly and the individuals began to open fire on the car carrying the foreigners.