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DUBAI: Saudi Arabia executed 81 people Saturday convicted of crimes ranging from killings to belonging to militant groups, the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history. The executions carried out surpassed even the toll of a January 1980 mass execution for the 63 militants convicted of seizing the Grand Mosque in Makkah in 1979, the worst-ever militant attack to target the kingdom and Islam’s holiest site.
It wasn’t clear why the kingdom choose Saturday for the executions. The number of death penalty cases being carried out had dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, though the kingdom continued to behead convicts under King Salman and his assertive son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (AP)