Al Qaeda in Yemen on Wednesday executed two Saudi Arabians accused of spying for the United States, a day after the militant group confirmed the death of its leader in a US drone strike.
They were accused of planting tracking chips in vehicles and clothes used by al Qaeda leaders, allowing drones to target them, a local official in southeastern Mukalla said.
After their public execution by a firing squad in the al Qaeda-held city, their bodies were tied to poles, the official and witnesses said.
Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered by Washington as the most dangerous affiliate of the global militant network, was formed in 2009 following a merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches.
AQAP confirmed in an online video dated June 15 the death of its leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi, who was number two in al Qaeda, along with two other militants in a US drone strike last week.
Two other senior al Qaeda leaders in Yemen — ideologue Ibrahim al-Rubaish and Nasser al-Ansi, who appeared in a video claiming the January massacre on French magazine Charlie Hebdo — were killed in similar US strikes in April.