RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi authorities beheaded one of its citizens on Sunday after he was convicted of shooting dead a fellow national, the interior ministry announced. Khalid al-Nufayie shot dead Ward al-Zuwaibi "over a dispute between the two," the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA. Nufayie was beheaded by the sword in the western province of Taef, it said. His beheading brings to 73 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.