An American employe of the U.S. Embassy was shot and wounded late last night on a residential street, according to a senior embassy official here.
The American man, who was riding home from the embassy in a car, was shot in a burst of gunfire from a passing car in which several people were riding, the official said. He said the attackers' car sped away from the scene and that, as of early this morning, no one had been arrested for the attack.
The embassy said the victim's identity would not be announced until relatives could be notified.
Anticipating a possible terrorist reprisal for Monday's U.S. bombing in Libya, all U.S. Embassy employes here had been ordered into "a high state of alert" yesterday.
"It has been a stay-put situation where people don't move unless absolutely necessary," the official said. He added that the embassy was not open today.
The shooting occurred at about 10:30 p.m. local time near the Khartoum tennis club in the so-called new extension of the city. The club is near the international airport and about a half mile from the Libyan People's Bureau, or embassy. Several U.S. Embassy officials live in the neighborhood, which is one of the most westernized and affluent in this sprawling city of about 2 million people.
The U.S. official, who declined to be identified, said the victim was probably hit by just one bullet.
"It may be a serious wound, but at this point we do not think it is critical," the official said. He said the wounded man who worked in telecommunications had been airlifted out of the country by military aircraft for treatment. He did not specify the flight's destination.
The shooting is the first serious attack against a U.S. Embassy employe here in recent years, a U.S. official said. Two U.S. diplomats were killed in an attack by Palestinian guerrillas in 1973.
There are about 400 American officials and dependents in Sudan. The number was reduced by 10 percent in November.
Western diplomatic sources here estimated that there are about 200 Libyan government employes in the country. These sources said they believe that among them are several individuals who are trained in terrorism. Several of these Libyan nationals are being watched by western intelligence operatives and the Sudanese government, reliable sources said.
Sudan renewed diplomatic ties with Libya a year ago, after the coup that ousted the government of president Jaafar Nimeri whose government had been strongly pro-American and anti-Libyan.
Before the coup, Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi had given arms and assistance to southern rebels fighting Nimeri's government.
Since then, however, Qaddafi has signed a military defense agreement with the transitional military government here. Last month, Libya loaned Sudan two Soviet-made Tupolev-22 bombers, which have been used in attacks against rebel-held towns in southern Sudan.
Early yesterday there was a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy. About 1,000 demonstrators, most of them students from the University of Khartoum, chanted: "Death to the American aggressors" and "Down with the U.S.A."
The demonstrators were kept about 100 yards away from the building by a phalanx of Sudanese soldiers dressed in riot gear and by plainclothes Sudanese state security officers.
U.S. Ambassador Alexander Horan later praised the Sudanese government's help with security around the embassy. He said in an interview that the government was "responsive, concerned and helpful."
The Sudanese military government joined other Arab states yesterday in condemning the U.S. bombing in Libya. The strongest statement came from Information Minister Mohammed Bashir.
"Sudan will exert every possible effort to give any kind of support to Libya and will put its facilities under the request of the Libyans to face the American aggression," Bashir said.
All the major political parties contending here for seats in the election that ended last weekend also criticized the raid.
Two small radical leftist parties opened a recruitment center in Khartoum yesterday for Sudanese volunteers to go to Libya and join the Army there in fighting what they called American aggression.
The U.S. government provides more aid to Sudan than to any other African country south of the Sahara. A U.S. official estimated that aid last year totaled nearly $450 million.