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Iran hangs four, amputates fingers of seven

TEHRAN, Iran, January 20, 2000 (AFP) - Iran amputated the fingers of seven robbers simultaneously Wednesday and hanged four other men for murder, newspapers reported Thursday.

The seven thieves aged 18 to 53 had their fingers amputated simultaneously in the northeastern city of Mashhad, according to the daily Ghods newspaper.

The Islamic penal code applied strictly in Iran stipulates amputation of limbs for multiple offenders who commit armed robbery, but group amputations are rare.

Four Iranians charged with murder were hanged at dawn in the grounds of Ghasr prison in Tehran, the Kayhan newspaper reported.

Alireza Taraghikhah, 26, was condemned to death by hanging for the killing Asghar Khajehvad, 24, the newspaper reported. Another man, Mohammad Beighi, was found guilty of the 1997 death of his mother-in-law Fatemeh Kazemi. The third, Nur-Khoda Mahmudi, was sentenced for having killed a farmer in the Kermanshah region in western Iran.

The fourth, Ali Salehi, was judged guilty for the murder of Abdolreza Bahmani, a young police officer, the newspaper reported.