26 Sep 2011

Young thief punished

5:43 am on 26 September 2011

Fighters linked to Al-Qaeda are reported to have severed the hand of a boy after he stole electrical cables in a town in southern Yemen.

Witnesses say the boy's hand was cut off with a sword in front of dozens of residents of Jaar on Saturday evening. The limb was taken around town for all to see.

An announcement was made that a man who had also been caught stealing electrical cables, would receive the same treatment on Sunday.

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

Since May, a group known as the Partisans of Sharia has taken control of several towns in Abyan, including the provincial capital Zinjibar.

The town of Jaar is under their control.