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Saudi beheads killer of soldier, Pakistani

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded a convicted Pakistani drug trafficker and one of its own citizens who killed a soldier.

Their cases bring to nine the number of executions this year, according to an AFP tally.

Rakan bin Eid bin Bikheet al-Baqmi, a Saudi, was found guilty of chasing and firing on a security patrol, killing soldier Sultan bin Ibrahim bin Ghrahid al-Jaid, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Baqmi was executed in the Mecca region of western Saudi Arabia.

On the other side of the country, in Qatif near the Gulf coast, Mahmoud Massih Iqbal Massih from Pakistan was executed for heroin trafficking, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia carried out the death penalty against 87 people last year, up from 78 in 2013, according to an AFP tally.

The kingdom had the third-highest number of recorded executions in 2013, behind Iran and Iraq, Amnesty International said in a report.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Islamic law.

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