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FBI agents arrive in Sudan to probe US diplomat’s slaying

January 3, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Investigators from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived in Khartoum Thursday to investigate the shooting death of a U.S. diplomat as he returned from a New Year’s Eve Party, embassy officials said.

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Sudanese men look at the flag-draped coffin of U.S. diplomat John Granville, 33, who worked for the USAID, as it is received by U.S. officials in Khartoum, Jan. 3, 2008. (AP)

Washington had earlier announced it would be sending officials from the FBI and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security to investigate the case and determine who was responsible for the drive by shooting.

"The FBI team is there working closely with local authorities and the diplomatic security team," said Walter Braunohler, a public affairs officer at the embassy in Khartoum.

Granville, an official for the U.S. Agency for International Development, was being driven home at about 4 a.m. Tuesday when another vehicle cut off his car and opened fire before fleeing the scene, the Sudanese Interior Ministry said.

The diplomat’s driver, Abdel-Rahman Abbas, was also killed. Granville, who was hit by five bullets but initially survived, died after surgery, said the embassy.

Sudanese officials say the shooting was not a terrorist attack, but the U.S. Embassy said it was too soon to determine the motive. There has been no claim of responsibility, and U.S. and Sudanese officials investigating the shooting have not specified any suspects.

Attacks on foreigners are rare in Khartoum, where a U.S. diplomat was last killed in 1973.

The Foreign Ministry said Sudanese security services are "working actively to pursue the culprits, identify them and bring them to justice," the official SUNA news agency reported.