Saudi carries out 10th beheading of 2015

A man convicted of murder was executed in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, pictured here on March 28, 2014, bringing the total number of executions this year to 45 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi Arabia beheaded one of its citizens Friday for shooting dead a compatriot with a machine gun, officials said, bringing to 10 the number of executions in just over two weeks.

Murdi al-Shakra had been tried and sentenced to death for murdering fellow tribesman Faraj al-Shakra, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The beheading brings to 10 the number of executions since the start of the year, according to an AFP tally.

It comes as Saudi Arabia postponed until next week Friday's flogging of blogger Raef Badawi jailed for insulting Islam, citing medical reasons, a week after he received the first 50 of a 1,000-lash sentence.

Badawi's case has sparked an international outcry put the spotlight on the ultra-conservative kingdom's rigid implementation of a strict version of Islamic Sharia law.

Saudi Arabia carried out the death penalty against 87 people last year, up from 78 in 2013, according to an AFP tally.

The kingdom had the third-highest number of recorded executions in 2013, behind Iran and Iraq, Amnesty International said in a report.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's law.