Three men convicted of gang-raping a woman six years ago during a robbery were hanged Tuesday in eastern Pakistan after the country's president rejected their plea for mercy, a prison official said.

The three men, arrested days after the crime in 2000, were convicted and sentenced to death by a court in 2001.

The men lost a legal battle this year, and President Gen. Pervez Musharraf rejected their mercy petition last week, said Chaudhry Asghar, an official at the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore, the capital of eastern Punjab province.

CountryWatch: Pakistan

He said they had handed over the men's bodies to relatives.

Although gang rape is punishable by death in Pakistan, hundreds are raped or killed every year in so-called "honor" attacks over behavior deemed inappropriate including extramarital affairs or marriage without a family's consent.

Many culprits escape punishment either because of flaws in the legal system, or due to victims' or their family members' reluctance to come forward because of the stigma associated with such attacks.