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Saudi Arabia executes two drug traffickers

Saudi Arabia executed two convicted drug traffickers on Thursday, bringing the number of prisoners killed in the kingdom to 20 so far this year.

The state-run SPA news agency named the two men as Saudi Arabian national Nasser Harshan and Pakistani national Namtallah Khasta Qul.

Both were put to death on Thursday after being convicted of drug trafficking in the conservative kingdom.

SPA said Harshan was a repeat offender found guilty of dealing hashish. Qul was found guilty of dealing heroin.

More than 150 people were executed last year in Saudi Arabia, according to London-based rights group Amnesty International.

Amnesty reported 158 death penalties in the country for 2015, the highest annual rate in the past two decades.

Among those executed last year was Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a high-profile figure behind a string of Shiite protests in 2011 demanding reform in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

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