In one of the largest executions in the kingdom in two decades, Saudi Arabia beheaded seven Nigerians Saturday for taking part in a bank heist, according to the Associated Press Saturady.
The penal authorities amputated the right hands and left feet of three other Nigerians involved in the same armed robbery, the Interior Ministry said in a statement quoted by the agency.
Executions and amputations in Saudi Arabia are carried out with a sword in a public square. Saturday's executions took place in the Red Sea port city of Jiddah.
The Interior Ministry statement did not say where and when the robbery took place.
The Nigerians had stolen a car to rob the bank, where they threatened the employees with cleavers, the statement said. They flagged down another car for their getaway, attacking its driver with cleavers and wounding him in the hand.
The robbers found to be the masterminds of the crime were the ones condemned to death, the statement said.
Murder, armed robbery, drug smuggling and sexual crimes are punishable by death under Islamic laws, which also call for the amputation of hands and feet for theft. Human rights organizations have criticized the executions and amputations, saying the accused do not receive fair trials.
A Nigerian Embassy official in Riyadh told AP the punishments were harsh, but that they would not affect Nigeria's relations with Saudi Arabia. Speaking on customary condition of anonymity, he said the embassy had appealed for the men's lives to be spared, but its appeals were rejected.
The official said the Nigerians were in Saudi Arabia as visitors when they were arrested – Albawaba.com
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