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Iran hangs five convicts: Report

world Updated: Dec 21, 2008 16:19 IST

Iran has hanged five men in a prison in the religious city of Qom after they were convicted of crimes including rape and drug trafficking, the government newspaper Iran reported on Sunday.

The men were identified as Mohammad Reza, 37, convicted of raping a 12-year-old boy, and Hamid, 22, who raped a teenage boy after threatening him with a knife.

The third man sent to the gallows on Thursday morning was Alireza, 41, found guilty of being "corrupt on earth" for "promoting superstitions." The report did not elaborate.

Hossein, 37, and Esmail, 26, were executed for drug trafficking and possessing 55 grammes of heroin and 52 kilos of opium.

The latest reported hangings took to at least 234 the number of executions in Iran this year, according to an AFP count.

Amnesty International says Iran carried out more death sentences in 2007 than any other country apart from China, executing 317 people.

Capital offences in the Islamic republic include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery.