Sudanese army soldiers, loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, sit atop a tank in Port Sudan


  • Dr. Bushra Sulieman is the second American citizen killed in Sudan
  • Sulieman was a medical faculty member at the University of Khartoum
  • Colleagues called him a powerhouse doctor and humanitarian

A doctor from Iowa who volunteered to aid victims of the civil war in Sudan got stabbed to death in front of his family in Khartoum.

Dr. Bushra Ibnauf Sulieman, a 49-year-old Sudanese-American, was killed in a suspected robbery when a band of strangers surrounded him in his yard on Tuesday amid wholesale looting in the country's capital, according to the Associated Press.

Sulieman was the second American citizen confirmed to have been killed in the country. The first one, who has roots in Denver, was caught in a crossfire. However, no details about the person were released.

After in-fighting between factions of two high-ranking military commanders erupted in Sudan on April 15, Sulieman, along with other doctors, wasted no time offering medical treatment to the wounded.

"Say, 'Nothing will happen to us except what God has decreed for us,'" Sulieman reportedly told worried colleagues in one of his last messages to them. "And in God let the believers put their trust."

Another colleague of Sulieman, Mohamed Eisa, who practices in the Pittsburgh area, would sometimes ask the slain doctor why he kept staying in Sudan.

"He always says to me, 'Mohamed, listen – yes, I love living in the United States ... but the United States healthcare system is very strong," he said.

"In Sudan, everything I do has so much impact on so many lives, so many students and so many medical professionals."

He also recounted the horror of seeing dead bodies in the streets after passing through armed military-manned checkpoints after making the more than 800-kilometer drive to Port Sudan, where Sudanese and foreigners are trying to secure a spot on ships leaving the country.

The U.S. began evacuating American nationals on Saturday, while U.S. diplomats and other government workers were already escorted out of the country on April 22. Armed drones escorted buses of 200-300 U.S. citizens, permanent residents and others to Port Sudan.

Meanwhile, Sulieman's colleagues in the U.S. and Sudan called his death a special loss.

Tom Clancy, Mercy Hospital president, said that Sulieman was a well-respected doctor in their hospital. He was also regarded by his colleagues in the medical field as a powerhouse doctor and humanitarian.

A nurse at the same medical center said he was one of the best.

"His love for his patients was over the top," the nurse told the AP.

In Sudan, he was the director of the medicine program of the University of Khartoum and the founder and director of the Sudanese American Medical Association, a humanitarian group of doctors.

Before dawn, evacuees from Sudan's war boarded a tugboat which transported them out to a Saudi Arabian warship