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Saudi Arabia postpones execution of 7 convicted in armed robbery

A Saudi security official says executions of seven Saudis sentenced to death by crucifixion and firing squad have been postponed for a week.

He said King Abdullah would review the sentences. He met families of the seven on Sunday.

The official said on Tuesday that the ruler of the southwestern province of Asir, Prince Faisal bin Abdel Aziz, ordered the postponement. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The seven were juveniles at the time they were arrested for armed robbery, a capital offense in Saudi Arabia. One told The Associated Press by telephone from prison that they were tortured to force confessions and barred access to lawyers.

Human rights groups called on the Saudi government to cancel the executions.

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