SAUDI ARABIA. SIX SOMALI NATIONALS EXECUTED
April 4, 2005: Saudi Arabia executed a gang of six Somali men convicted of abducting and robbing taxi drivers in the Red Sea port of Jeddah. The six men had lured taxi drivers to a remote spot where they hit them and threatened them with knives before robbing them and taking their cars, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The punishment appeared severe even by the strict code of Islamic sharia law practiced in conservative Saudi Arabia, which calls for the amputation of the right hand for theft. Execution is usually reserved for murderers, drug traffickers and rapists. The ministry statement said the men were put to death for "sowing corruption in the land and damaging security". (Sources: Reuters, 04/04/2005)