Saudi Arabian authorities have executed five men and hung them from cranes in full public view.

The five Yemeni men were given the death penalty for murdering Saudi national Ahmad Haroubi, whom they allegedly beat up and strangled. The motive for the murder remains unclear.

The interior ministry said the five men - identified by the ministry as Khaled, Adel and Qasim Saraa, Saif Ali Al Sahari and Khaled Showie Al Sahari - also robbed shops after forming a gang.

It is unclear if the men were beheaded or shot as punishment for their crimes.

Following their execution, the bodies of the five men were hung on a horizontal bar between two cranes, with ropes tied to their waists. A witness who spoke to AFP said the bodies were hung near a university.

Photograph of the hanging has since been posted on Twitter, showing the five bodies on the bar and the large crowd which gathered to watch the ceremony.

The incident took place in the south-western city of Jizan, according to state news agency SPA.

Saudi Arabia Executes and Crucifies Five Yemeni Men for Robbery and Murder
Saudi Arabia Executes and Crucifies Five Yemeni Men for Robbery and Murder Image Credit:Twitter/@anbae_ksa

The BBC claims executed bodies are left hanging when crimes are seen as particularly grave.

In March, Saudi Arabia publicly executed seven men for robbery despite an appeal by United Nations human rights investigators to spare their lives. The men who were executed also failed to secure a pardon from King Abdullah and were executed by a firing squad in the city of Abha.

Only days after the execution of the seven men, Saudi Arabia beheaded and crucified Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussain, a Yemeni national, in Jizan for sodomising and murdering Pakistani national Pashteh Sayed Khan. Hussain was also convicted of other charges, including robbery.

The total number of executions in Saudi Arabia, this year alone, has now reached 46 according to an AFP tally. Last year, the total number of people executed by Saudi Arabia stood at 76 according to AFP figures.