Saudis Spare the Sword, Execute 7 by Firing Squad


Seven accused thieves were executed in a public square on Wednesday in the city of Abha, located in Saudi Arabia’s southern region of Asir.  According to witnesses, the executions were carried out by a firing squad — a departure from the traditional Saudi practice of beheadings.

Wednesday’s deaths bring the year’s total of executions so far to 23.  Saudi Arabia executed 76 people last year, and 79 in 2011.  That’s a rate about twice that of the United States.

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