Saudi Arabia beheads three convicted of murder

AFP
A man smokes his last cigarette before being hanged for murder on April 1,2013
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A man smokes his last cigarette before being hanged for murder on April 1,2013 (AFP Photo/Yasser al-Zayyat)

Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi authorities on Wednesday beheaded three citizens after they were convicted of murder in separate cases, the interior ministry announced, bringing to 41 the number of executions there this year.

Nawaf al-Mutairi was executed in the western city of Medina for the machine-gun killing of fellow Saudi Adel al-Harbi in a dispute, a statement published by the official SPA news agency said.

Another Saudi, Naji Al-Mutleq, was beheaded in the southwestern city of Najran for shooting dead fellow tribesman Abdelhadi al-Mutleq, also with a machine gun, SPA reported.

In neighbouring Jazan, authorities executed Musa Dhafiri for stabbing to death Yehia Hamdi following a disagreement, the news agency added.

The beheadings increased to 41 the number of executions carried out in Saudi Arabia this year, according to an AFP tally.

Human Rights Watch expressed alarm this month at the surge in the number of executions. Some 19 people were beheaded between August 4 and 20.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

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