KUWAIT CITY - Authorities in Kuwait on Monday hanged three convicted murderers in the first executions in the Gulf state since May 2007, the ministry of justice said.

The men, a Pakistani, a Saudi and a stateless Arab, were hanged at the central jail, west of the capital Kuwait City, in front of judicial and security officials, the ministry said.

Pakistani Parvez Ghulam was convicted of killing a Kuwaiti couple and the Saudi national, Faisal al-Oteibi, of stabbing a compatriot to death.

The stateless Arab, Dhaher al-Oteibi, was hanged for shooting and killing his wife and five children after claiming he was a long-awaited Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi.

Kuwait had six years ago stopped executing convicts sentenced to death without providing an explanation.

Public attorney Mohammad al-Duaij, who supervised the executions, was cited by the official KUNA news agency as saying another 48 people are on death row awaiting a final decision on their sentences by the emir.

Under Kuwaiti law, the emir has the right to commute death sentences to a life term.

Among those on death row are two members of the Al-Sabah ruling family convicted over drugs trafficking and murder, and a woman who set a wedding tent ablaze in 2009 killing 57 people.

Kuwait has executed a total of 69 men and three foreign women since it introduced the death penalty in mid-1960. Most of those condemned have been convicted murderers or drug traffickers.