Iran held a public execution on Wednesday of seven men convicted of rape, according to the state-run ISNA news agency. Two other men were hanged Wednesday in a separate prison, convicted of armed smuggling of narcotics, according to state-run media in a report in the New York Times.

It carried photographs of five men hanged in one place in Mashad, in the northeast of the country, as a crowd watched. The two others were hanged elsewhere in the city, according to media reports.

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The state-run television news also showed the five men hanging from the gallows under a banner that said, “Carrying out justice equals increasing security.”

Iran increased the number of executions in recent weeks since announcing a crackdown on thugs and arrested nearly 1,000 people in May.