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Saudi Arabia beheads Pakistani heroin smuggler

Saudi Arabia beheads a Pakistani after he was convicted of smuggling a large amount of heroin into the kingdom.—Reuters Photo

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia beheaded a Pakistani man on Tuesday after he was convicted of smuggling a “large amount” of heroin into the kingdom, the interior ministry said.

“Salim Shah Sayed Shah, a Pakistani, was accused of smuggling a large amount of the heroin drug into the kingdom,” said an interior ministry statement carried by state news agency SPA, adding that he was executed in the holy city of Mecca.

On Sunday, the interior ministry said that the kingdom had arrested 681 people over the past four months allegedly involved in trafficking of drugs worth around $460 million.

The Muslim kingdom applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences, including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking as well as murder.

Shah's execution brings the number of beheadings in the kingdom so far this year to 16, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Human rights group Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia executed 79 people in 2011.

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