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10 executed; thief has hand chopped off

Ten people were executed by Iranian firing squads Tuesday and an Iranian revolutionary judge ordered the right hand of a convicted thief chopped off, the first such sentence passed since the Islamic revolution.

The unidentified thief, a man in his late 20s, was tried by a Revolutionary Court in Kerman in eastern Iran, Tehran newspapers said.

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The sentence, the first recorded sentence to amputation in modern Iran, was meted out by Judge Morteza Fahim Kermani, who was strictly enforcing Moslem law, the Islamic Republic newspaper said.

The papers did not say if the sentence was carried, but verdicts handed down by Revolutionary Courts, including death sentences, are usually carried out immediately.

Last year, Kermani sentenced a woman to be stoned to death after she was found guilty of prostitution.

Four women accused of prostitution and six men charged with possessing narcotic drugs were executed by firing squads, Tehran Radio said.

The women also were convicted on various counts of use and possession of drugs, the radio said.

The executions were carried out after Islamic revolutionary court proceedings in Tehran and Karaj, the radio said without giving further details.

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