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Saudi executes Jordanian for drug smuggling

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Saudi Arabia today executed a Jordanian convicted of drug smuggling, bringing to 88 the number of foreigners and Saudis put to death this year.

Mohammed Abu Zayed had been found guilty of smuggling amphetamines in his car, the interior ministry said.

Authorities carried out the sentence against him in northwestern Tabuk region, which borders Jordan.

Amphetamines are stimulants most often targeted at students and labourers in the kingdom, interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told reporters last month.

He added that war-ravaged Syria has become one of the biggest producers of the drug.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

The executions so far this year include 47 for “terrorism” carried out in a single day on January 2.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions.

Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia had the third highest number of people put to death last year — at least 158.

That was far behind Pakistan, which executed 326, and Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran, which executed at least 977, said Amnesty, whose figures exclude secretive China.

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