06 October 2015

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Saudi advertises for swordsmen as execution rate soars

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia advertised vacancies for eight executioners Tuesday after beheading nearly as many people since the start of the year as it did in the whole of 2014.The civil service ministry said that no qualifications were necessary and that applicants would be exempted from the usual entrance exams.It said that as well as beheadings, the successful candidates would be expected to carry out amputations ordered by the courts under the kingdom’s strict version of Islamic sharia law.Amputation of one or both hands is a routine penalty for theft. Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death.Most executions are carried out by beheading, but a few are carried out by firing squad, stoning or crucifixion.All are carried out in public and video footage

Islamic State tightens grip on captured Iraqi city

Islamic State tightens grip on captured Iraqi cityBAGHDAD: Islamic State fighters who overran Ramadi in a major defeat for the Iraqi government and its Western backers tightened their grip on the city, flying back flags on key buildings and setting free prisoners in a drive to win the support of local residents.After Ramadi fell on Sunday, Shi’ite militiamen in armored vehicles deployed to a nearby base in preparation for a counterattack to retake the city, which lies just 110 km (70 miles) northwest of Baghdad.Witnesses in Ramadi said Islamic State fighters had set up defensive positions and laid landmines.They were also going from house to house in search of members of the police and armed forces and said they would set up courts based on Islamic Sharia law.They released about 100 prisoners from the

Despite US strikes, IS advance in Syria, Iraq

BEIRUT  The Islamic State militant group has made several high-profile advances in recent days, despite a US-led air campaign against the movement in Syria and Iraq.Here are answers to some key questions about the group s progress and the international effort to stop them:

Q: Where has IS advanced recently?

A: On Sunday, Islamic State group fighters seized Ramadi, the capital of Iraq s largest province of Anbar, in their biggest victory since a major offensive in Iraq last summer.The group has also

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