Riyadh - Saudi authorities beheaded four of its citizens on Tuesday after they were found guilty of murdering two men in separate cases, the interior ministry said.
A Saudi national, Khaled bin Saeed al-Asmari, was executed in the town of Abhaa in the kingdom's southern region of Asir for stabbing to death fellow Saudi, Abdullah bin Saad al-Masmaa, after a dispute, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.
In a separate case, three other Saudi nationals were executed in the kingdom's eastern Qatif region for stabbing and then shooting to death an Indian, Kohimo Ahmad, after robbing a shop where he worked, the ministry said.
Hussein bin Ahmad Shweikhat, Abdel Aziz bin Hasan al-Maatouq and Hussein bin Ibrahim al-Maatouq were beheaded after the three first stabbed and then shot Ahmad with an automatic rifle.
The ministry said that the three Saudis were also found guilty of several other armed robberies in the area.
The latest beheadings bring to 44 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.
Under the AFP count, at least 76 people were beheaded in 2011, while rights group Amnesty International put the number of executions last year at 79.
The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of offences including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as stipulated by Islamic sharia law.