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Amnesty: Mideast executions boost 2011 global toll

Amnesty: Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen boost Mideast executions, push global total higher By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' Amnesty International says that a surge of executions last year in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen pushed the worldwide total higher than the year before.

The anti-death penalty group says the United States remains near the top of the global list of nations carrying out executions, ranking fifth.

Although the global rate of executions has declined by about a third in the past decade, to 676 documented worldwide in 2011, some 18,750 people remained on death row at the end of the year in 20 nations, Amnesty International says in its annual review of worldwide trends.

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