RIYADH - Saudi authorities on Tuesday beheaded two nationals for murder, including one who stabbed his wife to death and burned her corpse, the interior ministry said. Ali Mohammed Mahrazi was convicted of stabbing his wife Hunayna Khabrani repeatedly before he “poured kerosene on her body and set it on fire until it was charred,” the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency. He then cleared the traces of his crime and complained to police that his wife has disappeared, but a probe revealed that he was the culprit, it said. He was beheaded by the sword in the southwestern city of Jizan.

In another case, Ahmed Mahmud al-Yazidi was beheaded in the city of Mecca over shooting dead another man, Ayed Awad al-Yazidi.

The beheadings bring to 72 the number of people executed so far this year in the ultra-conservative kingdom, where 79 people were put to death in 2011, according to Amnesty International.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under its strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.