Japanese diplomat survives stabbing during kidnap bid in Yemen: Source

SANAA (REUTERS) - Armed men stabbed a Japanese diplomat in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday after he resisted a kidnapping attempt in front of his house, a security source said.

It was the latest in a spate of attacks on foreigners in the impoverished Arab state, where the government is struggling to restore law and order since a power transfer deal in late 2011 saw former President Ali Abdullah Saleh step aside.

The source said the diplomat was in a stable condition in hospital after being stabbed in the hand with a dagger. His bodyguard was injured in the attack, the source said.

Several Westerners, including embassy staff, have been killed or kidnapped this year by armed groups in Yemen.

Disgruntled tribesmen often take hostages to press the government to free jailed relatives or improve public services. Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants have been behind some of the kidnappings.

Besides being the base for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is also grappling with attacks on security forces, a northern rebellion and secessionists in the south.

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