A man convicted of raping and murdering a three-year-old girl was executed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday in front of hundreds of onlookers, witnesses said.
A policeman fired five bullets from an assault rifle into Muhammad al-Maghrabi, 41, as he lay with his hands handcuffed behind his back on a blanket on the ground in Sanaa’s Tahrir Square, after a judge read out the death sentence.
The execution drew an unusually large number of onlookers – some perched up telegraph poles and many watching from rooftops – because of the young age of Rana al-Matari, the victim.
Security was tight amid fears of a revenge attack on Maghrabi by armed tribesmen related to his victim. The police truck transporting Maghrabi to the square was escorted by five police patrol vehicles.
Yahya al-Matari, the father of the girl, told reporters after the execution that he felt as if he had been reborn. “This is the first day in my life,” he said. “I am relieved now.”