Saudi Arabia has executed 47 people in a day.

The Middle East country put the people to death this morning after accusing all of them of taking part in terrorist activities.

Among those killed was noted Shi’ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimrits, the nation’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

It is not yet clear what method was used to kill the 47 people but the conservative Islamic kingdom usually executes people by public beheading.

The nation detained thousands of militant Islamists after a series of al Qaeda attacks from 2003-06 that killed hundreds, and has convicted hundreds of them.

However, it also detained hundreds of members of its Shi’ite minority after protests from 2011-13, during which several policemen were killed in shooting and petrol bomb attacks.
Several of the Shi’ites have been sentenced to death.

Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival, Shi’ite Iran, has warned that executing Nimr “would cost Saudi Arabia dearly”.

The Interior Ministry statement began with Koranic verses justifying the use of execution and state television showed footage of the aftermath of al Qaeda attacks in the last decade.

Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh appeared on television soon after to describe the executions as just.

The executions are Saudi Arabia’s first in 2016.