The closure of the US embassy
in Khartoum, shortly after Sudan accused Israel
of launching an attack
on an arms factory, has raised speculation that the US knew the Jewish state was behind the strike and feared it would be targeted by angry protesters.
Despite this notion, a local Sudanese newspaper "al-Intiba" reported Monday that CIA Director David Petraeus called Sudanese deputy intelligence head Saleh A-Tayeb, shortly after the alleged Israeli attack in Khartoum.
In his call, Petraeus reportedly denied reports indicating that the US had early knowledge of the attack.
According to the report, the US tried to contact Sudan officials shortly after they had blamed Israel for the attack, and denied reports claiming it had assisted Israel in its strike.
Explosion site in Khartoum (Photo: AP)
The Sudanese paper quoted an official as saying that the Americans are fearful for the safety of diplomats in Khartoum.
Accoding to the official, the US asked that Sudan guarantee the safety of American diplomats currently based in Khartoum.
The source further added that the Sudanese official explained Sudan's position to Petraeus, adding that it bares the responsibility of protecting the foreign citizens residing in the African country.
However, he explained that despite the US' denial of direct involvement in the attack, it could have applied pressure on Israel and prevented the Jewish state from taking certain steps.
The explosion in the Khartoum arms factory occurred last week. Shortly after the attack, a Sudanese minister said that the factory was attacked by four military planes.
Sudan, which analysts say is used as an arms smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled
Gaza Strip via neighboring Egypt,
has blamed Israel for such strikes in the past but Israel has always either refused to comment or said it neither admitted or denied involvement.