Gambia executes 9 death row inmates

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Gambia's government says nine inmates who were on death row have been executed by a firing squad.

President Yahya Jammeh had announced during his end-of-Ramadan speech that his government would execute all the prisoners on death row in a move to curb crime.

The Ministry of Interior issued a statement late Monday saying the executions were carried out the day before after the inmates had lost final court appeals of their death sentences.

Amnesty International confirmed the executions but said they occurred Friday.

The United States said Tuesday it was "greatly concerned." State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland condemned the lack of transparency and apparent lack of due process. In a statement, Nuland said the U.S. is urging Jammeh to immediately halt all executions in order to review all Gambia's capital cases to see they accord with domestic and international law.