A Saudi man convicted of raping a female member of his own family was beheaded by the sword on Wednesday, the interior ministry said.

Faleh bin Ali al-Oteibi was found guilty of forced incestuous sodomy, it said in a statement carried by the SPA state news agency, adding that he committed the act after drinking alcohol, banned in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom.

The identity of the victim was not disclosed.

Oteibi's beheading in the western city of Mecca brings to 53 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Rights group Amnesty International puts the number of people executed in the Gulf country last year at 79.

In addition to murder, the death penalty is handed down in Saudi Arabia for a wide range of offences including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as stipulated by Islamic sharia law. - AFP