Iran publicly hangs 7 convicted criminals

Iran publicly hanged seven men on Wednesday in the second round of collective executions in ten days, state media reported. "These people were hanged on charges of rape, kidnapping and robbery," the Web site of the state's broadcasting company reported, quoting an unnamed prosecutor. Five of the men were hanged in one execution in the center of Mashad, a town some 1,000 kilometers northwest of Teheran, the capital, state media said. The report said the two other convicts, both 24, were hanged in a different neighborhood of Mashad, close to where they were accused of having raped a woman in 2005.