Al Qaeda militants in southern Yemen on Saturday seized and executed 15 soldiers loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, local officials and residents said.
The soldiers were detained by militants while traveling from the southern port of Aden to al-Mahra province in eastern Yemen via Ahwar, a city in Abyan province under al Qaeda control.
The militants took them to a remote area and killed them by firing squad, local officials and residents said. They said 17 other captive soldiers were wounded in the incident but were believed to be still alive. Their current status was unclear.
The soldiers had been visiting family in Aden and were on their way back to base in al-Mahra to receive their salaries, security sources said. They were not dressed in military uniform and were not riding in military vehicles.