MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) _ Gunmen kidnapped an Ethiopian diplomat from his home minutes after he was visited by three Somali elders, a household employee said Sunday.

Yamani Abdi, Ethiopia's charge d'affaires, is one of few foreigners still living in Somalia's capital since the departure of U.N. troops last month.

Yamani's gatekeeper, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the diplomat and the elders had an argument and ``the elders no sooner left than the abductors got in.''

It's not known why the elders visited Yamani. Somali elders have traditionally mediated social and clan disputes, but their role has become more important in settling political feuds since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for taking Yamani.