Assailants stabbed a Japanese diplomat stationed in Yemen’s capital Sunday when he fought back during a failed kidnapping attempt, officials said, the latest unrest in a country beset by Al-Qaeda militants.
The kidnappers attacked the diplomat not far from the Japanese Embassy in Sanaa, later fleeing with the man’s car, a security official said.
The official did not provide the diplomat’s name but said he was taken to hospital and that his injuries were not serious.
Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Masaru Sato confirmed that an embassy official was attacked by an unspecified number of armed robbers as he tried to get into his car.
“We are still in the process of confirming and gathering information about the attack,” Sato said. He declined to give further details, though he noted that Japan’s Foreign Ministry has issued a safety warning to Japanese tourists and residents in the area, citing the increasing danger of attack.
Yemeni media identified the diplomat as Katsusuke Sotomini, as did an official at the embassy in Sanaa who spoke on condition of anonymity due to regulations. An Associated Press journalist some 200 meters away from the embassy found blood stains where the attack apparently took place.
Dr. Atiq Al-Maori of the Saudi-Germany Hospital in Sanaa said the diplomat suffered “multiple injuries” to his forearm and shoulder in the attack. “We will keep him for observation to continue the treatment,” the doctor said. “His medical situation is stable.”