Saudi Arabia executed 47 men in firing squads and beheadings, the Saudi Press Agency said Saturday. Many of those executed, across 10 provinces, had been linked to al Qaeda.
Also among the men executed was Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shiite cleric who publicly criticized the government in 2011 during the Arab Spring, The Guardian reports. The Iranian government and religious leaders throughout the Middle East condemned al-Nimr's execution and warned of the potential for widespread backlash.
"The Saudi government supports terrorists and takfiri [radical Sunni] extremists, while executing and suppressing critics inside the country," an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman told a state news agency.
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