Saudi Arabia has reportedly beheaded 37 of its citizens, most of them minority Shiites, in a mass execution across the country for alleged terrorism-related crimes. The executions bring the number of executions there in the first four months of the year to 105.
It marked the largest number of executions in a single day in Saudi Arabia since Jan. 2, 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people for terrorism-related crimes in what was the largest mass execution carried out by Saudi authorities since 1980.
The Saudi interior ministry said the people executed were all Saudi nationals convicted on charges that included adopting extremist ideology, forming terror cells and attacking security headquarters. The executions came just days after Saudi authorities said members of the Islamic State, a Sunni militant group, had attacked a security headquarters north of Riyadh, the capital.
Saudi Arabia generally beheads prisoners condemned to death, in ceremonies performed by executioners using a sword – a punishment in line with the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islamic law.