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Iraq executes 11 prisoners convicted of terrorism-related charges, just days after 26 hanged

Iraq's Justice Ministry says 11 prisoners convicted of terrorism-related charges have been executed, just days after authorities hanged 26 prisoners on similar charges.

Ministry spokesman Haider al-Saadi said the prisoners, all Iraqis, were executed Thursday by hanging. He said that they were found guilty of carrying out "terrorist attacks" against the Iraqi people.

Thursday's executions came only two days after the hanging of 26 prisoners also convicted of terrorism-related charges.

Human rights groups long have criticized trial procedures in Iraqi courts, arguing that some verdicts are based on testimony obtained by torture or forced statements.

The Iraqi government defends the death penalty, saying it is a weapon against insurgents bent on destabilizing the country.