Amnesty: Executions jump in 2011, driven by Middle East

LONDON - The number of executions carried out around the world jumped last year, largely due to a surge in use of the death penalty in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
The rights group said at least 676 people were executed in 20 countries in 2011 compared with 527 executions in 23 countries in 2010, a 78 percent increase.
Confirmed executions in the Middle East rose by almost 50% last year to 558, it said in an annual report on the death penalty.
Methods of execution used around the world included beheading, hanging, lethal injection and shooting.