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Two men convicted of killing two Italian tourists have been sentenced to death, the Cuban government confirmed Thursday -- a move that followed calls by President Fidel Castro to crack down on increasing crime.

No immediate date was set for the execution by firing squad. Alejandro Gonzalez, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the two men had the right to appeal their sentences to Cuba's Supreme Court.

The Italians were shot to death during a robbery last September in Guanabo, just east of here.

Although the number of killings, armed robberies and other violent acts in Cuba remain low compared with those in most other countries, an increase in such crimes prompted Castro to call for a crackdown earlier this month.

Greek sailor charged with killing U.S. fiancee

ATHENS, Greece (Reuters) -- A Greek sailor was charged Thursday with murdering his American fiancee, cutting off her head and dumping her remains in a lake.

A prosecutor in the northern Greek city of Kavala charged Giorgos Skiadopoulos, 23, with murdering Julie Scully, 30, a model from Mansfield, N.J., mutilating her body and deceiving the police by declaring her missing.

The young sailor, who met Ms. Scully on a Caribbean cruise in 1997 and then became engaged to her, initially had sought help from Greek television stations in finding his fiancee, whom he said he had lost in downtown Athens.

But he confessed to police late Tuesday that he had strangled her near his hometown of Kavala on Jan. 8 and tried to set her body on fire. When that did not work, he said, he decided to stuff the body in a suitcase. According to police, he found that her body was too large, so he sawed off her head and threw it in the sea. The suitcase with the rest of her body was thrown into man-made lake off a highway.

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