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Saudi Arabia beheads four over murders, robbery

Saudi Arabia beheaded three of its citizens and a Palestinian today after they were found guilty in separate cases of armed robbery and murder.

RIYADH // Saudi Arabia beheaded four people today, including three of its citizens and a Palestinian after they were found guilty in separate cases, the interior ministry said.

The kingdom executed two citizens in the southwestern city of Jizan after they were convicted of armed robbery, the ministry said in a statement published by SPA news agency.

"Mohammed bin Ahmed Kharmi and Musa bin Mohsen Kharmi lured a man and opened fire on him," the ministry said, adding the victim, whose identity was not disclosed, was wounded.

The pair "stole the money he was carrying which belonged to the company he works for," said SPA. They were sentenced to death "due to the danger of their crime".

In a separate statement, the ministry said a Palestinian identified as Wael Anbar was beheaded in the Red Sea city of Jeddah for stabbing to death a Yemeni, Naser Haqqash.

Later on Tuesday, SPA quoted a third statement saying that Saad Al Mansuri, a Saudi, was beheaded in the central city of Buraida after he was convicted of shooting dead a fellow citizen, Munif Al Maqati, with a machinegun "following a dispute between the two."

The beheadings bring to 57 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Amnesty International puts the number of people executed in the Gulf country last year at 79.

The death penalty is handed down in Saudi Arabia for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as stipulated by Islamic law.

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