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Iraq Carries Out 42 Executions In Single Week

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An aerial view of Baghdad, Iraq, is seen Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Violence has spiked in Iraq in recent months as insurgents capitalize on rising sectarian and ethnic tensions. More than 4,000 people have been killed over the past five months alone, according to U.N. figures. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban) | AP

Iraq has executed 42 "terrorism" convicts over the past week, the justice minister said Thursday, defying condemnation of its extensive use of the death penalty as violence intensifies.

"In the course of the past week, the ministry has carried out the death sentences handed down against 42 people, one of them a woman, who were all convicted of terrorism offences, in accordance with Article 4 of the anti-terrorism law," Hassan al-Shammari said.

Iraq executed 23 people during two days in September, most of them convicted on terrorism charges, the ministry said on October 1.

Executions in Iraq, which are usually carried out by hanging, have drawn widespread condemnation from the European Union, the United Nations and human rights watchdogs.

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