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Jordan hanged 15 men at dawn on Saturday, the largest number of executions carried out by the country in a single day in more than a decade.

Information minister Mahmud al Momani said the 10 men had been involved in five different attacks - including one in which Rochdale accountant Christopher Stokes, 30, was killed in 2006.

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement the death penalty was not a deterrence, citing a spike in militant attacks since a year ago.

"Jordan should lead by example on rights and protection, and renew its moratorium on the death penalty", an HRW statement quoted Sarah Leah Whitson, the organisation's Middle East director, as saying. There is no evidence that the death penalty address violent crime, including terrorist-related acts.

One of the convicts was found guilty of killing leftist Christian writer Nahed Hattar a year ago in Amman, a death that sent shock waves across Jordan and drew the condemnation of King Abdullah.

The kingdom is a key member of the US -led military coalition against the Islamic State group, the extremist group that controls parts of neighboring Iraq and Syria. Five others were wounded.

The five not charged with terrorism offences had been convicted of rape and sexual assault.

Jordan lifted a 2006 moratorium on the death penalty in 2014.

Jordan in the past refrained from executing political detainees and either reduced or suspended death sentences handed to fundamentalist Islamists on terror-related charges.


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