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Japan envoy pulled from car and stabbed in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen--Assailants stabbed a Japanese diplomat repeatedly Sunday after dragging him out of his car in the Yemeni capital, scene of a spate of attacks on foreigners, the embassy and witnesses said.

The consul and second secretary at the embassy suffered five stab wounds in the morning attack in the Hadda neighborhood, an embassy spokesman said.

“He is OK now. He is in hospital,” said the spokesman, who declined to disclose the name of the consul.

It was unclear if the attack was an attempt to kidnap the diplomat.

The spokesman said he had been driving ahead of the consul, but when he arrived at the embassy, the consul was no longer following.

The diplomats had been driving without guards, he added.

Witnesses said six masked men attacked the diplomat in a small street, about 250 meters (820 feet) away from the Japanese mission.

They pulled him out of his car and one of the assailants hit him on the head with a pistol butt, before pushing him to the ground and driving off in his vehicle.

Local residents said they administered first aid in a nearby shop, until an embassy vehicle arrived and took him away.

An AFP correspondent found traces of blood in the street.

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