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MID: Iran hangs drug traffickers in mass execution: reports

06 May 2009 4:41 PM

TEHRAN, May 6 AFP - Iran has hanged eight men convicted of drug trafficking and another man found guilty of murder, press reports said on Wednesday.

The unnamed drug traffickers were hanged on Saturday in a prison in the town of Taybad in northeastern Iran near the Afghan border, Aftab-e Yazd said, quoting police sources.

It did not say whether the men were all Iranians.

Another man identified as Abdolbaret Noorzehi was executed for murder in a prison in Khash in the eastern province of Sistan Baluchestan, the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper said, without specifying when the hanging took place.

The latest hangings bring to at least 85 the number of people executed in the Islamic republic so far this year, according to an AFP count, compared with 246 in 2008.

The rights group Amnesty International has said that Iran applied the death penalty more than any other country apart from China in 2007, executing 335 people.

Tehran says the use of the death penalty is a bid to improve security in society.