Saudi Arabia has announced the execution of 81 people convicted of a variety of crimes, including killings and belonging to militant groups.
It is said to be the largest mass execution conducted by the kingdom in its modern history.
The total number of those put to death surpassed that of the January 1980 mass execution of those convicted of the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, which saw 63 people beheaded.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency announced Saturday’s executions, saying they included those “convicted of various crimes, including the murdering of innocent men, women and children.” The kingdom also said some of those executed were members of al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and backers of Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
“The accused were provided with the right to an attorney and were guaranteed their full rights under Saudi law during the judicial process, which found them guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes that left a large number of civilians and law enforcement officers dead,” the Saudi Press Agency stated.
“The kingdom will continue to take a strict and unwavering stance against terrorism and extremist ideologies that threaten the stability of the entire world,” the report added.
The kingdom’s last mass execution came in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people, including a prominent opposition Shiite cleric who had rallied demonstrations in the kingdom.