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Saudis Behead Two in Drug Case

July 23, 1999

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ A Nigerian and a Pakistani were beheaded Friday in Saudi Arabia for smuggling heroin into the kingdom, according to the Interior Ministry.

Idrees Issa Mohammed of Nigeria was executed in the port city of Jiddah, and Taj Khan Gul Akbar Khan, a Pakistani, was beheaded in the capital, Riyadh.

The ministry did not specify the amount of drugs involved in either conviction.

Fifty-five people have been executed in the kingdom so far this year, compared to 29 in all of 1998.

Human rights groups have criticized Saudi Arabia’s executions, claiming suspects generally do not receive fair trials. The kingdom’s Islamic courts impose death sentences for murder, rape, drug trafficking and armed robbery. Executions usually are carried out with a sword in public.

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