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Iraq hangs 17, mostly for ‘terrorism’

BAGHDAD — Iraq executed 17 prisoners on Monday, all but one convicted of ‘‘terrorism,’’ shrugging off calls from international human rights organizations to reconsider the use of capital punishment.

In a statement posted on its website, the Justice Ministry said authorities had executed 15 Iraqis and an Egyptian convicted of terrorism for ‘‘carrying out crimes against the Iraqi people.’’ The other prisoner was convicted of another unspecified criminal offense.

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Two of those hanged were women, it added, without saying when the executions were carried out. This year, a total of 67 people have been executed in the country.

After the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled longtime dictator Saddam Hussein, occupation authorities suspended Iraq’s death penalty. It was reinstated in 2004 by the country’s transitional government. Since then, Iraqi governments have increasingly used the punishment.

According to London-based Amnesty International, Iraq was ranked fourth among the top five executioners in the world in 2011, after China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and US human rights groups have questioned whether defendants received a fair trial.

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