Iran hangs five drug traffickers

TEHRAN, Sept 30, 2009 (AFP) - Iran has hanged five people convicted of drug trafficking in the northeastern town of Taibad, the Hamshahri newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The unidentified convicts were hanged on Monday evening in the town's prison, the report said.

Taibad is located at the border with Afghanistan, the world's leading opium and heroin producer. The drugs are trafficked mainly through neighbouring Iran.

The latest hangings bring to at least 230 the number of people executed in the Islamic republic so far this year, according to an AFP count based on news reports.

In 2008, Iran executed 246 people, second only to 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 Iran.

Source: AFP

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