Saudi authorities beheaded a Pakistani man found guilty of smuggling drugs into the kingdom, the interior ministry said, according to AFP news agency.

The man was caught attempting to smuggle heroin hidden inside his stomach, the ministry said on Wednesday in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

He was executed in the city of Riyadh.

His beheading brings to 38 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the year, according to an AFP news agency tally.

In 2012, the kingdom executed 76 people, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. Human Rights Watch has put the number at 69.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.

Source: Agencies