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Saudi Arabia says it has executed 81 convicts in single day

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Saudi Arabia says it has executed 81 prisoners, including those convicted of killings and belonging to militant groups

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 81 people convicted of a variety of crimes, including killings and belonging to militant groups, in the largest mass execution conducted by the kingdom in recent memory.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency announced the executions, saying they included those “convicted of various crimes, including the murdering of innocent men, women and children.” The kingdom also said some of those executed were members of al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and backers of Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

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“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process, which found them guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes that left a large number of civilians and law enforcement officers dead,” the Saudi Press Agency said.

“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.

The kingdom’s last mass execution came in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shiite cleric who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.

In 2019, the kingdom beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shiites, in a mass execution across the country for alleged terrorism-related crimes.

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