Teen dies after ‘al-Qaeda’ cuts off his hand

2011-09-30 14:21

A 15-year-old boy died in Yemen last night after al-Qaeda militants severed his right hand as punishment for allegedly stealing electric cables, a medic said.

Maher Ali’s hand had been severed by sword on Saturday by the militants in front of dozens of residents of Jaar, in the troubled southern province of Abyan, witnesses and medics said.

Ali had died of wounds he sustained when al-Qaeda militants cut off his hand, after losing “too much blood”, the medical official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The teenager was one of two Yemenis to have had their hands cut off by al-Qaeda militants for stealing in recent days. The second, a 26-year-old man, had his hand cut off Sunday.

“They brought in the accused with a doctor who drugged him and cut off his right hand,” one witness told AFP.

In both cases, militants paraded the limbs to residents of Jaar, demonstrating their fate if they were caught stealing.

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 (Islamic Law) 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.

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