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Taiwan executes 6 murderers in island's first use of the death penalty since March 2011

Taiwan has executed six murderers, the island's first use of the death penalty in nearly two years.

A Justice Ministry statement says the executions were carried out late Friday, a day after minister Tseng Yung-fu signed the death warrants.

Officials say the men were executed for committing "grave offenses," including fatal kidnappings and multiple murders.

The last executions in Taiwan were in March 2011, when five men were put to death. The island now has 55 inmates on death row.

Authorities have been stalling executions amid growing pressure by local and international human rights groups for Taiwan to abolish capital punishment.