RIYADH – A Saudi court on Tuesday sentenced two men it said were al-Qaeda followers to death on charges of decapitating a Saudi intelligence service colonel in 2007, local media reported.

The men allegedly attacked Colonel Nasser al-Othman at his farm near the city of Buraidah in northern Saudi Arabia, tied him up and severed his head because they viewed him as an apostate, online news website said, citing the court ruling.

Between 2003 and 2006, Al Qaeda carried out a campaign of attacks in the kingdom against Western and Saudi targets that killed hundreds of people.

Since stamping out the insurgency, Saudi Arabia has convicted and sentenced hundreds of people to prison or death for militancy. It executed dozens on January 2.

In Tuesday’s verdict a third man was sentenced to 30 years in jail for attempting to kill the commander of emergency forces in Saudi Arabia’s northern Qassim region, Dubai-based al-Arabiya television channel said.