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Saudi beheads 3 for drug trafficking

AFP , Wednesday 11 Mar 2015
Saudi Arabia
File Photo: Swordman prepares to behead convict in SAudi (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded three people convicted of smuggling narcotics into the ultra-conservative kingdom, where executions have accelerated this year, the interior ministry said.

Hammud Hajuri from Yemen and Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi, were executed in southwestern Jizan province, near the Yemeni border, after being found guilty of trafficking a large amount of amphetamines and hashish, it said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency.

The ministry said a Syrian, Fadi Abdulrazzaq, was executed in the northern province of Jawf after having been convicted of smuggling amphetamines.

London-based Amnesty says the number of death sentences carried out so far this year in Saudi Arabia has been almost four times that for the same period in 2014.

The latest beheadings bring to 43 the number since the start of 2015, according to an AFP tally.

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

The Gulf state has carried out around 80 executions annually since 2011, with 87 last year by AFP's tally.

Saudi Arabia is among the world's top executioners, according to Amnesty.

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