Saudi man beheaded for murder

RIYADH (AFP) — A Saudi man convicted of murdering a compatriot was beheaded by the sword in the country’s eastern city of Khobar on Sunday, the interior ministry said.

Huzaa al-Qahtani had been sentenced to death for shooting dead Talal al-Sehli following a row, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

The beheading brings to 35 the number of executions announced by the the Saudi authorities since the start of 2008.

Last year, a record 153 people were executed in the Gulf state, which applies a strict version of sharia, or Islamic law. The figure compared with 37 executions in 2006, and a previous record of 113 in 2000.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking can all carry the death penalty in the ultra-conservative Muslim country, where executions are usually carried out in public.


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