SANAA - Bulgaria's ambassador to Yemen escaped with minor injuries on Saturday after masked gunmen opened fire on his car in the capital and tried to kidnap him, a Western diplomat said.

"He was with his wife when they were attacked. Three armed men tried to kidnap him from his car. When he refused and started to drive away they opened fire on his vehicle. He was wounded in the eye by broken glass," said the diplomat.

The ambassador and his wife escaped by fleeing into a nearby shopping center, witnesses said.

Yemeni security forces arrived shortly afterwards. The diplomat said the ambassador had not been accompanied by guards.

"We do not know if they were tribesmen who just spotted the diplomatic plates or al-Qaida militants who had planned to kidnap him for ransom," said the diplomat.

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