King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia welcomes the Gulf Arab leaders in Riyadh, May 14, 2012.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia welcomes Gulf Arab leaders in Riyadh, May 14, 2012. Photo by AP
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Saudi Arabia executed five Yemenis on Tuesday for robbery and murder, then put their bodies on public display as a further punishment, state news agency SPA said.

A sixth man, a Saudi national, was separately executed for murder, the agency said.

It was the second time in less than three months that Saudi Arabia executed several convicted criminals at the same time. In February, the United Nations criticised Saudi Arabia after it executed seven Saudis in one go. Both cases were in Jizan Province in southern Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni nationals were indicted according to Islamic sharia law for forming a criminal gang, robbing shops in different parts of the country and killing a Saudi national, SPA reported.

"By the grace of God, the security authorities were able to apprehend the perpetrators. Investigation resulted in charging them with committing their crimes," the ministry's statement said.

"A sharia verdict was issued against them affirming their indictment," it said.

Their crimes were classified as among the most serious, according to sharia law.

A local Saudi news website published a photograph of the five bodies hanging from a bar suspended between two cranes. The picture appeared to show the men's severed heads in separate sacks.

The kingdom has faced criticism from Western countries for its frequent use of capital punishment and trials that human rights groups say do not meet international standards.

But in January, King Abdullah said he had full confidence in the kingdom's justice system after the United Nations voiced concern over the trial and execution of a Sri Lankan woman.