By Hugh Bronstein
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - A Uruguayan businessman was stabbed to death in the city of Paysandu near the Argentine border late on Tuesday, an attack characterized as anti-Semitic by the country's main Jewish organization.
David Fremd, 54, died from his wounds. An unidentified man was arrested and remained in custody on Wednesday.
The head of the Central Israelite Committee of Uruguay (CCIU), which is the country's Jewish umbrella group, told Reuters that the attacker admitted to police that the knifing was motivated by religion.
"The information I have is that the attacker told the police that he had converted to Islam and that Allah had asked him to kill a Jew," CCIU chief Sergio Gorzy said. He could not confirm witness accounts carried in the media that the suspect yelled "Allahu Akbar," or "God is Greatest," before the knifing.
The CCIU issued a statement condemning the attack and asking the interior ministry to investigate.
"The characteristics of the homicide lead us to presume this was an antisemitic attack," the statement said.
The suspect appeared to have been acting on his own when he stabbed Fremd, who served as a director of Paysandu Jewish Community, the statement said.
Stabbings have been on the rise in Israel, where violence has surged during a visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian who tried to stab them on Wednesday, the military said. The attacks came a day after an American tourist was killed in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian who went on a stabbing spree while Biden held meetings just blocks away.
(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Alistair Bell)