An American civilian escaped from an attempt to kidnap him in the Afghan capital Sunday, officials said.

The man was walking on a hill in the center of Kabul (search) when three armed men bundled him into the trunk of a car, but he managed to escape several minutes later, said Abdul Khalik, the district police chief.

"The foreigner said he had saved himself," Khalik said.

Jeff Raleigh, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy (search), confirmed that the victim was an American citizen, but had no further details.

"My understanding is the guy got abducted and got away," Raleigh said.

The incident is sure to increase tension in the city, where Kabul's roughly 3,000-strong expatriate community lives under tight security for fear of attacks by Taliban-led militants or renegade factions who have evaded a nationwide disarmament program.

Afghan authorities have yet to solve the abduction of three foreign U.N. workers last November. The trio were released unharmed a month later. Police are also seeking those responsible for the March 7 shooting death of a British adviser to the Afghan government.