Al-Qaida militants kill 15 Yemeni soldiers, witnesses and officials say

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Yemeni military officials and witnesses say al-Qaida militants have killed 15 Yemeni soldiers.

The officials say the soldiers had been heading to Sanaa, the capital, from the southern city of Sayoun on Friday when militants stopped their bus, checked IDs and led the soldiers out of the bus.

Militants then shot them to death near the ancient city of Shibam, in the southern province of Hadramawt, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

Witness Naser Mahfouz says bodies of the soldiers were beheaded. It was not possible to verify his account.

Al-Qaida in Yemen is considered the world's most dangerous affiliate of the terror group.