Iraq executes 10, including Egyptian

Iraqi authorities executed 10 men on Sunday, a spokesperson said, bringing to 129 the number of people put to death this year, defying international calls for a halt to Baghdad's use of capital punishment.

The mass executions were the first in around a month in Iraq, which has been roundly condemned by European governments and international human rights organizations for its use of the death penalty.

"Ten people were executed, including one Egyptian," a justice ministry official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They were accused of terrorist crimes."

The official did not provide further details about the men, or the specific crimes of which they were convicted.

Executions in Iraq are normally carried out by hanging.

Sunday was the latest of several days this year that Baghdad has carried out multiple executions.

The executions have sparked calls for a moratorium from the UN mission in Iraq, as well as Britain, the European Union and human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed shock earlier this year at the number of executions in Iraq, criticizing the lack of transparency in court proceedings and calling for an immediate suspension of the death penalty.

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