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Iran executes twenty 'terrorists' in a single day

The biggest mass execution was held in Iran on Tuesday [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 August, 2016

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Iranian authorities confirmed the largest mass execution was conducted earlier this week, with more than twenty "terrorists" put to death in a single day.

Twenty alleged terrorists were hanged in Iran earlier this week, in what is believed to be the Islamic Republic’s biggest mass execution, officials said on Thursday.

The prisoners were accused of conducting a series of attacks against civilians and religious leaders in Iran's western Kurdish region, according to state media.

They were responsible for the deaths of 21 people that were killed in 24 armed attacks, including bombings and robberies between 2009 and 2011, officials said.

"102 members and followers of the... terrorist group were identified... some of whom were killed in armed clashes with police forces and some were arrested. Some of those arrested were sentenced to death while some received prison terms," the intelligence ministry said in a statement.

Prosecutor General Mohammad Javad Montazeri said the convicts adopted "takfiri" ideologies – a term Shia-majority Iran uses to describe Sunni militants across the region.

"These people had committed murder... killed women and children, caused destruction and acted against security, and killed Sunni religious leaders in some Kurdish regions," Montazeri said.

Authorities said one of the plots linked to the group left police officers and judiciary personnel in hospital after consuming poisoned chocolate

Authorities said one of the plots linked to the group left police officers and judiciary personnel in hospital after consuming poisoned chocolate.

Also, Mamusta Borhan Aali and Mamusta Mohammad Sheikh al-Islam, two Sunni religious leaders were assassinated by the group in 2009.

International rights group have repeatedly criticised Iran for its high number of capital punishments for offences involving drug trafficking, murder, rape, armed robbery and adultery.

On Wednesday, Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, announced that European Union officials have proposed talks with Iran on human rights.

"We are ready to talk... but the Westerners should not put themselves forward as role models," Larijani said.

"We are not happy to be executing many people, but we have a relentless war against narcotics. Poppy cultivation has increased by 40 times thanks to NATO generals in Afghanistan," he added.

In 2015, the Islamic republic put 977 people to death – a majority of which charged for drug trafficking – according to numbers from Amnesty International which showed it had exceeded the number of executions conducted by both neighbouring Pakistan and regional rival Saudi Arabia.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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