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Al-Qaeda militants cut off boy’s hand

AL-QAEDA-linked militants have severed the hand of a 15-year-old boy after he stole electrical cables in a southern Yemeni town, witnesses summoned to watch the punishment say.

The militants cut off the boy’s hand with a sword in front of dozens of residents of Jaar on Saturday evening before taking the limb around town for all to see.

Witnesses said the militants announced they would also cut off another man’s hand later on Sunday. He too had been caught stealing electrical cables, they said.

Under a very strict interpretation of Islamic law, theft is punishable by cutting off the thief’s hand.

Since May, al-Qaeda linked militants known as the Partisans of Sharia have taken control of several towns in Abyan, including the province’s capital Zinjibar.

On September 10, the Yemeni Government announced its troops had regained control over Zinjibar but officials later told AFP parts of the city remained in militant hands.

The town of Jaar remains under militant control and residents say there is currently no government presence in the town