The mother of Abdolah Hosseinzadeh, who was murdered in 2007, slaps Balal who killed her son during the execution ceremony in Nowshahr on April 15, 2014 just before sparing the life of her son's convicted murderer. AFP PHOTO/ARASH KHAMOOSHI
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Iran said Thursday it had hanged 20 "terrorist" Sunni prisoners, in one of the Islamic republic's biggest mass executions in recent years.Prosecutor General Mohammad Javad Montazeri said the convicts, some of whom had come from abroad, followed "takfiri" ideologies, a term Shiite-majority Iran uses to describe Sunni extremists.In 2009, the group allegedly assassinated two Sunni religious leaders, Mamusta Borhan Aali and Mamusta Mohammad Sheikh al-Islam -- a provincial representative of Iran's powerful Assembly of Experts.Iran regularly hangs large-scale drug traffickers.According to human rights group Amnesty International, Iran was one of the world's top executioners in 2015 when it put 977 people to death, mostly on drug trafficking charges.Over two days in 2009, Iran hanged 44 convicted drug traffickers in one of the country's biggest mass executions.
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