CHENNAI, India (AFP) - Three men convicted of the 1991 assassination of then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi will be hanged early next month, a senior jail official has said. The announcement late Friday that the executions would be carried out on Sept 9 came after India's president rejected mercy pleas from the three men earlier this month. If they go ahead as scheduled, the executions will be first in India since 2004, when a former security guard was hanged for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old schoolgirl. "The three men have been informed about the date of the hanging," said chief of the prison in the southern city of Vellore, where the convicts are being held, west of Chennai.