Two soldiers kidnapped by tribesmen in southern Yemen were found with their throats slit on Tuesday in the restive province of Abyan, an Al-Qaeda stronghold, a security official said.
The two soldiers were murdered in an Al-Qaeda-style execution, the official said, requesting anonymity.
He said the execution of hostages went against the norms of Yemeni tribes, which often resort to kidnapping as a means of exerting pressure on local authorities, implying Al-Qaeda militants could have been behind the killings.
Local residents told AFP the corpses were found with gunshot and knife wounds on the side of a road outside the unrest-strewn town of Loder.
The two soldiers were kidnapped last Thursday in Loder by tribesmen in retaliation for the Yemeni military's killing of six suspected Al-Qaeda militants last month.
A security official said on March 26 that army troops killed the six as they attacked an army post in Loder.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based franchise of the network, last year launched a failed plot to dispatch parcel bombs on US-bound cargo planes.