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Murderer Beheaded in Saudi Arabia

August 13, 2000

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ A Saudi man convicted of murder was beheaded Sunday, according to the Interior Ministry.

Khaled bin Ali al-Assiri was executed in the southwestern city of Asir for the murder of Abdullah bin Yahya al-Assiri, a fellow Saudi, the ministry said in a statement. Further details were not released.

Sunday’s execution brings to at least 86 the number of people beheaded in the kingdom this year. At least 99 people were executed last year.

Executions are carried out with a sword in a public square. Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law that prescribes death sentences for murder, rape, drug trafficking and armed robbery.

The executions have been criticized by human rights organizations, which say Saudi Arabia often fails to give the accused fair trials and point out that Islam also calls for using the punishment sparingly.

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