Saudi Arabia puts 81 to death in its largest mass execution

Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 81 people convicted of crimes ranging from killings to belonging to militant groups. It was the largest known mass execution carried out in the kingdom in its modern history.

The number of executed surpassed even the toll of a January 1980 mass execution for the 63 militants convicted of seizing the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979. It was the worst-ever militant attack to target the kingdom and Islam’s holiest site.

It wasn’t clear why the kingdom chose Saturday for the executions. However, they came as much of the world’s attention remained focused on Russia’s war on Ukraine — and as the US hopes to lower record-high gasoline prices as energy prices spike worldwide.

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