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Saudi beheaded for murdering compatriot

world Updated: Feb 18, 2009 15:29 IST

AFP
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A Saudi man convicted of murdering a compatriot was beheaded by the sword on Wednesday in the western city of Qanfatha, the interior ministry said.

Ahmed bin Said al-Massudi stabbed to death Yehia al-Massudi with a dagger while under the influence of drugs after the victim caught him stealing his money, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The beheading was the ninth announced by the Saudi authorities since the beginning of the year. A total of 102 people were executed in the kingdom last year.

In 2007, a record 153 people were executed in the country, which applies a strict version of sharia, or Islamic law. That figure compared with 37 in 2006 and the previous record of 113 in 2000.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking can all carry the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, where executions are usually carried out in public.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International said in October that the number of executions in Saudi Arabia was surging and that the main victims were poor migrant labourers and Saudis without good connections.