According to residents in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, alleged al-Qaeda militants would have severed the hands of 2 people, including that of a 15-year old boy.
Eye witnesses told the press that they were summoned to the execution, forced to watch while the Islamists cut off the hands of the accused, using a sword.
They later on paraded around the town with the amputated limb, warning that theft would not be tolerated under al-Qaeda's rule.
The 2 men had been apparently found guilty of stealing electric cables in Jaar, one of the towns "Ansar al Sharia" group seized a few months back.
Since its revival in activities the radical Islamist group has been claiming to want to create an Islamist state under which the Sharia, or Quranic law would be the only reference.
By severing the hands of the thieves, al-Qaeda enacted a millennia old ruling, stating that an example should be made against thievery as to deter future bandits from operating.
Several imams have already condemned the move, saying that this interpretation of Islam was biased and taken out of context.