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21 executed in Iraq

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
April 17, 2013 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The men were convicted of terrorism
  • More violence reported in run-up to election
  • Dozens were killed across Iraq on Monday

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi authorities hanged 21 men after they were convicted of terrorism, the nation's Ministry of Justice reported Tuesday.

The ministry said those executed were involved in kidnappings, assassinations, bombings, and the killings of security officials and civilians. Some of them had carried out attacks by planting bombs and rigging cars and motorcycles with explosives.

Amnesty International said the death penalty was suspended after the 2003 invasion but quickly restored by the first Iraqi government.

Executions resumed in 2005. Since then, at least 447 prisoners have been executed, including Saddam Hussein, some of his main associates and alleged members of armed groups.

Hundreds of prisoners await execution on death row. The country, where 129 prisoners were hanged in 2012, is now one of the world's leading executioners, according to Amnesty International.

Deadly wave of bombings across Iraq

Ahead of elections, more violence

With provincial elections scheduled to take place in five days, attacks have persisted. Politicians are worried that violence could discourage Iraqis from heading to the polls.

Police and health officials in Kut told CNN that three people were killed and four others were wounded when a car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint southeast of Baghdad on Tuesday. The area is mostly Shiite.

In Tarmiya, north of the capital, a car bomb exploded at a police patrol and killed a bystander and wounded five people, including three officers.

This comes after Monday's bombings across Iraq that left at least 51 killed and more than 266 wounded, health and police officials in Baghdad told CNN on Tuesday.

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