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Sat 3 Jan 2009 02:43 PM

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Iran hangs two drug traffickers

Executions are first to be reported in 2009 following at least 246 death sentences in 2008.

Iran on Saturday hanged two men in prison in the southeastern city of Zahedan after they were convicted of drug trafficking, the state broadcaster reported.

The report said the unnamed men were found guilty of smuggling 300 kilos (660 pounds) of drugs.

The hangings are the first to be reported in 2009. Iran executed at least 246 people last year, according to an AFP count.

The human rights group Amnesty International says Iran's total of 317 executions in 2007 exceeded those of any other country apart from China.

Capital offences in the Islamic republic include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery.

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