Washington: Saudi Arabian authorities are planning to drop public beheadings as a method of execution, a report has said.
Saudi newspaper Al-Watan reported in its Sunday edition that the ministerial committee is considering fatal shootings as an alternative.
The move to end beheadings may be coming due to a shortage of swordsmen, reports Ahram online.
There have been calls in the kingdom for replacing public beheadings with lethal injections carried out in prisons, CBS News reports.
Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where a death sentence results in beheading in a public square.
The kingdom executes anyone convicted of murder, armed robbery, rape and trafficking in drugs, the report said.
It has executed 15 people so far this year, 76 last year and 79 in 2011, it added.