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Two Saudis beheaded for raping a man

world Updated: Dec 26, 2008 21:05 IST

Two Saudis were beheaded by the sword in Saudi Arabia on Friday after being convicted of raping a man, the interior ministry said.

Nasser al-Harby and Majid al-Sibeiy entered a room of the unidentified man while he was sleeping before beating him, tying him up and raping him, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The beheadings in the capital Riyadh bring to 100 the total number of executions this year in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom.

In 2007, a record 153 people were executed in the country, which applies a strict version of sharia, or Islamic law. That 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 the ultra-conservative country, where executions are usually carried out in public.

In October, human rights watchdog Amnesty International said the number of executions in Saudi Arabia was surging and that the principal victims were poor migrant labourers and Saudis without connections.