Amnesty: Iraq among world's leading executioners

Iraq has joined the ranks of the world's leading executioners, Amnesty International said Friday. Iraqi authorities executed at least 65 people - including two women - in 2006, a total surpassed only by China, Iran and Pakistan, the human rights organization said. "This represents a profoundly retrograde step," the report said, "one that should not be overlooked simply because far larger numbers of lives have been lost due to ongoing violence." The death penalty was suspended after the US-led coalition toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, but was reinstated when authority was handed over to the Iraqi Provisional Government in August 2004.