TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ Three men and three women have been stoned to death in public in northern Iran after a court found them guilty of adultery and prostitution, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Stoning is rare in Iran with the sentence carried out about once or twice a year.

The Farsi-language Salam newspaper said Kheirollah Javanmard, Ali Mokhtarpour and Parviz Hassanzadeh confessed before a court in Sari, 155 miles northeast of Tehran, to committing adultery and running a prostitution ring along with Fataneh Danesh, Massumeh Einy and Marziyeh Falah.

``This group was active in corrupting Iranian youth in different ways,'' the paper quoted the court as saying.

The report did not say when the six were tried or executed.

It said the stoning was carried out by local citizens in public in Khazar Abad, near the Caspian Sea.

Under Iran's Islamic laws, prostitution and adultery are illegal and punishable by death.