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Saudi Arabia executes Nigerian, Pakistani over drugs

Written by: Staff
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RIYADH, Nov 21 (Reuters) Saudi Arabia executed a Nigerian and a Pakistani today for drugs offences, taking to 25 the number of executions reported in the conservative Muslim kingdom so far this year.

The official news agency said Hamza Yousef from Nigeria had been convicted of smuggling cocaine and Ijaz Khan, a Pakistani, had been convicted of receiving smuggled hashish. Both men were put to death in Mecca.

Saudi Arabia implements strict Islamic law and executions are usually carried out by public beheading with a sword. The country executed 86 people in 2005 and 36 in 2004.

Officials have not explained a decline in executions in the first half of this year, which follows criticism by human rights groups of the high rates in previous years.

Convicted murderers, rapists and drug traffickers are subject to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.

REUTES PDM KN1619

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