Japanese diplomat wounded in Yemeni kidnapping attempt

Posted on: 4:45 pm, December 15, 2013, by , updated on: 04:43pm, December 15, 2013

Japanese diplomat wounded in Yemeni kidnapping attempt

SANAA, Yemen (CNN) — A Japanese diplomat was wounded when armed men tried to kidnap him in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Sunday morning, three Interior Ministry officials said.

The diplomat resisted and was stabbed by the assailants, the officials said. The kidnapping attempt took place outside the diplomat’s residence.

The Japanese embassy in Sanaa confirmed the attempted kidnapping and said the diplomat is being treated for minor wounds in a Sanaa hospital.

The attackers fled the scene, the Yemeni Interior Ministry said.

While kidnapping has long been a problem in Yemen, with tribes often using foreign nationals as a bargain chip in their dealings with the central government, the past 24 months have proven even more dangerous for foreigners. Europeans are considered especially high-value targets.

Al Qaeda has been running kidnapping bids for well over a year, targeting foreigners.

From Hakim Almasmari