(Reuters) – Eight drug-trafficking convicts from several countries were executed by an Indonesian firing squad shortly after midnight on Wednesday, media said, but a Filipina who was on death row with them was unexpectedly spared at the last minute.

There was no immediate official confirmation that the eight men had been executed.

Earlier, Jakarta rejected last-ditch pleas from around the world for clemency to be granted the drug traffickers from Nigeria, Australia, Brazil and Indonesia, ordering their mass execution to proceed within hours.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said the execution of Mary Jane Veloso, a mother of two who was arrested in 2010 after she arrived in Indonesia with 2.6 kg of heroin hidden in her suitcase, had been delayed.

He said the delay came in response to a request from Manila after a drug courier gave herself up to police in the Philippines on Tuesday.

People holding a vigil outside the Indonesian embassy in Manila cheered and clapped on hearing the news.

The proposed death penalties were condemned by the United Nations, and have strained ties between Australia and Indonesia in particular.

Hours before the expected executions, crowds gathered in cities across Australia to hold vigils for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, holding placards and calling for Australia to respond strongly to its neighbour if the executions proceed.

Security was tight at the prison on an island off the Central Java coast where the executions were to take place, and a dozen ambulances, some carrying white satin-covered coffins, were seen arriving… see more

source: reuters