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Saudi man beheaded for murder

world Updated: Jan 16, 2009 15:47 IST
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A Saudi man convicted of murder was beheaded by the sword on Friday in the city of Hafr al-Baten in the eastern province, the interior ministry said.

Mohammed bin Mikhlif al-Ruwaily stabbed compatriot Rkian bin Ghazi al-Ruwaily with a knife several times, causing his death, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

It was the sixth beheading announced by the Saudi authorities since the start of 2009. 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.