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Iran hangs two rapists

TEHRAN, Nov 15 – Iran has hanged two men convicted of rape and murder in the western city of Hamedan, the Kayhan newspaper reported on Sunday.

The report identified the murderers as M.M., aged 25, and 20-year-old H.A., and said they were hanged on Thursday.

They were convicted of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl named Zeynab after kidnapping her a year ago. They then put her body in a sack and left it under a bridge in an isolated area.

No additional information was given.

The latest hanging brings to at least 250 the number of people executed in Iran so far this year, according to an AFP count based on news reports.

In 2008, Iran hanged 246 people, the highest number of executions carried out by any country bar China.

Tehran says the death penalty is a necessary tool for maintaining public security and is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are all punishable by death in the Islamic republic.

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