15 new Western suspects in Hamas killing: Dubai police

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 22:17

Dubai: Dubai Police on Wednesday announced 15 new
Western suspects in the slaying of a top Hamas leader at a
hotel here last month, bringing to 26 the number of people
suspected of involvement in his death.

Police said that the 15 new suspects involved in the
killing of Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh on January 20 at a
luxury hotel here include three each from Ireland and
Australia, and also five women.

The new suspects had travelled to Dubai from six
different European cities and Hong Kong, the police said in a
statement.

Last week, Dubai`s police chief said he was "99 per
cent" certain that the Mossad, the secretive Israeli foreign
intelligence unit, is behind al-Mabhouh`s slaying. Hamas has
called al-Mabhouh`s death an "assassination."

The total number of suspects using British passports is
now at 12, police said, along with six Irish passport holders
and four French passport holders. Another suspect using a
German passport was announced earlier this month. The three
Australian passports are new.

"Friendly nations who have been assisting in this
investigation have indicated to the police in Dubai that the
passports were issued in an illegal and fraudulent manner,
adding that the pictures on the travel documents did not
correspond to the original owners," the police statement said.

The European Union earlier this week said it "strongly
condemns" the use of false EU passports in connection with al
-Mabhouh`s slaying. Officials have said the passports are not
fake or forged, but were authentic passports meant for other
people.

While authorities have not said how he died, al-
Mabhouh`s family was told there were signs of electric shocks
on his body, media reports said.

Police also said they have traced the suspects` travel
routes and their destinations before and after al-Mabhouh`s
death.

In Israel, as many as seven people whose names were on
the travel documents said they have no knowledge of al-
Mabhouh`s death.

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
has said there is nothing more than "media reports" linking
Israel to al-Mabhouh`s death.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 - 22:17

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