Saudi Arabia beheads convicted murderer

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia on Friday beheaded a Saudi man convicted of murder, the Interior Ministry said.

Mohammed al-Hamdan was executed in the central city of Zulfi for the murder of Khaled al-Jeraisy, the ministry said in a statement. Al-Jeraisy was shot after an argument over a family matter. The statement gave no further details.

Friday's execution brings to at least 83 the number of people beheaded this year in Saudi Arabia. At least 99 people were executed last year.

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

The executions have been criticized by human rights organizations, which say Saudi Arabia often fails to give the accused fair trials.

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