Five beheaded in Saudi Arabia for murder, drugs

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Saudi authorities on today beheaded four of its citizens for  murder and a Syrian national for drug smuggling, the interior ministry said.

Three Saudi nationals were executed in the kingdom’s eastern Qatif  region for stabbing and then shooting to death an Indian, Kohimo Ahmad, after  robbing the shop where he worked, the ministry said in a statement carried by  state news agency SPA.


Hussein bin Ahmad Shweikhat, Abdel Aziz bin Hasan al-Maatouq and  Hussein bin Ibrahim al-Maatouq were beheaded after the three were found guilty  of having stabbed and then shot Ahmad with an automatic rifle.

In a separate case, Khaled bin Saeed al-Asmari, was executed in  the town of Abhaa in the kingdom’s southern region of Asir for stabbing to death  fellow Saudi, Abdullah bin Saad al-Masmaa, after a dispute, the ministry  said.

And William Hatoum, a Syrian, was executed in the northern region  of Jawf after being found guilty of smuggling drugs into the ultra-conservative  kingdom, it said.

Hatoum was the third Syrian national to be executed in Saudi  Arabia for drug smuggling since January.

The latest beheadings bring to 45 the number of people executed in  Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official  reports.

Under the AFP count, at least 76 people were beheaded in 2011,  while rights group Amnesty International put the number of executions last year  at 79.

The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of  offenses including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well  as murder, as stipulated by Islamic sharia law.

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