A Japanese diplomat was wounded on the weekend in this capital when he was attacked by armed men, an official with the Japanese Embassy here told Efe.

The official said that, for the moment, it is not known if the attack was a kidnapping attempt or a robbery, but the hypothesis investigators are working with is that it was the former.

The victim, the second secretary of the Japanese delegation, was driving with his Yemeni assistant when armed men stopped their vehicle and stabbed him.

The attack occurred in the Hadda neighborhood in the southern part of the capital, where the majority of embassies are located, including Japan's.

The diplomat was admitted to a local hospital but no report has been released yet on his condition.

Attacks on foreigners have increased in recent months in Yemen, where recently a Belarusian military instructor and a security official with the German Embassy were murdered.

Kidnappings of foreigners, including diplomats, are also frequent occurrences here, many of them staged by tribal or terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, who use the hostages to exert pressure on the authorities to respond to their demands. EFE