RIYADH: Saudi authorities yesterday executed a national for murdering a compatriot, bringing to 56 the number of convicts put to death in the kingdom this year. Ahmed Al-Harbi was found guilty of stabbing and shooting Fahed Al-Balawi in a dispute, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA. He was executed in the northern city of Tabuk.

Most executions in Saudi Arabia are done by beheading with a sword. Last year the kingdom executed 153 people, mostly for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP tally. On a single day last month it put 47 people to death for “terrorism”, including influential Shiite cleric Nimr Al-Nimr. Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia in 2015 was the highest for two decades. The kingdom practices a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.