TEHERAN - IRANIAN authorities have amputated the hand of a man found guilty of four robberies in the central city of Yazd, Mehr news agency reported on Saturday.

It identified the man only as M. 32, and said 'his hand was cut off in the central prison of Yazd in front of other prisoners' on Friday.

Earlier this month, the hand of a man found guilty of two robberies in the north-eastern holy city of Mashhad was cut off, and last July the hands of five other people charged with theft were amputated in the north-western city of Hamedan.

Islamic syariah law in Iran allows amputation as a punishment for those accused of repeated thefts.

In recent years, the number of cases of amputation has increased because of a rise in robberies on the back of rising poverty in Iran.

Iran robber has hand cut off