CAIRO - An assailant stabbed an American man on Thursday while they were standing outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, security officials said.

The area around the U.S. Embassy has been the site of anti-American incidents and violence in the past, but stabbings are uncommon despite political unrest that has roiled Egypt since the 2011 uprising.

Embassy spokesman David Ranz confirmed that a U.S. citizen was stabbed, and said he was immediately rushed to the hospital. His condition was not known.

There were differing accounts of the attack.

An Egyptian official said the assailant, who was wielding a knife, attacked Christopher Stone as he stood outside the embassy.

The state-run daily Al Ahram said Stone told prosecutors at a hospital that the attacker asked him his nationality and pulled the knife after learning he was American.

Egypt's official news agency MENA reported that security authorities believe a brawl broke out between the American and the attacker over who was next in line.

The embassy was once heavily fortified, but security measures have been relaxed despite street protests during the last two years in nearby Tahrir Square.

The attacker was arrested and questioned by police, according to the security official. A medic at the al-Qasr al-Aini hospital said Stone was admitted, but declined to disclose further details.