Saudi Arabia executes 7 for murder, drugs offenses

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Iranian officials prepare the noose for the execution of Balal, who killed fellow Iranian youth Abdolah Hosseinzadeh in a street fight with a knife in 2007, during his execution ceremony in the northern city of Noor on April 15, 2014. Samereh Alinejad, the mother of Abdolah Hosseinzadeh, spared the life of Balal, her son's convicted murderer, with an emotional slap in the face as he awaited execution prior to removing the noose around his neck with the help of her husband. AFP PHOTO/ARASH KHAMOOSHI/ISNA / AFP / ISNA / ARASH KHAMOOSHI

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed six Yemeni men convicted of murder and robbery and a Saudi man for smuggling drugs, the interior ministry said. The Yemenis were convicted of forming a gang that killed two men and a woman in three separate attacks on homes in the southern province of Assir, it said in a statement cited by the SPA news agency.

In each attack, they also stole cash and other items, the statement added. They were executed at Abha in the southwest of the Gulf kingdom. The seventh convict, a Saudi, was executed in the northern city of Tabuk after being convicted of smuggling pills, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia, where executions are carried out in public by the sword, has one of the world’s highest execution rates. The kingdom is governed under a strict form of Islamic law, with suspects convicted of “terrorism”, murder, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking facing the death penalty.

Tuesday’s executions take the total number of judicial killings in the ultra-conservative country so far this year to 130, according to compiled data.

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