A Yemeni man found guilty of raping and murdering a 4-year-old girl was executed and strung up by a crane in a local town square. [Warning: the photos below are graphic.]
Hussein al-Saket, 25, was sentenced to death after police found him guilty of the rape and murder of Safaa el-Matari in November 2015, according to Daily Mail. Safaa was kidnapped from the family home while her mother, Amal el-Matari, was giving birth to their youngest son.
Al-Saket was executed via an AK-47 machine gun, shot five times in the abdomen before being strung up by a crane and hung in the town square. It was the second public execution in Yemen in less than a month.
Amal voiced her relief over the capture and execution of al-Saket.
"I felt so relieved even after it had taken all this time -- one year and eight months ago," she said. "I am more than happy and content now that justice has been done. I know my innocent daughter Safaa will now rest in peace and in heaven."
Safaa's father, Muhammad Taher el-Matari, expressed his gratitude for the execution as well.
"I am so happy the killer of my daughter has finally been punished in such a spectacular and deterrent way so that he would set an example for all to see," he said, according to The Sun.
Public executions have been on the rise in the province of Sahaa since its takeover by Shiite rebels. The Shiite Houthis have controlled parts of Yemen since 2014, establishing a powerful rule that includes public demonstrations of violence.
Al-Saket was forced to lay down on his stomach with his face against the ground before being executed. Dozens of people gathered to watch the display, and several more stayed to watch his body hang high above the streets afterward.
Safaa's family began the search for her shortly after they noticed she had disappeared, searching the many abandoned homes in their village of 400 people. Shortly afterward, the search party turned up Safaa's body buried in the dirt floor of an abandoned home, reports Daily Mail.
Al-Saket himself participated in the search for Safaa's body, but was eventually identified as the killer when the shovel used to bury her body was found to belong to al-Saket's family, according to Express.
"My tribe, family and I thank all those have have sympathized with us in Yemen whether they are Muslims, Christians or any other religion because attacking innocent children is forbidden by God and all religions," said Muhammad Taher.