'Mabhouh's killers had Irish passports'

Irish paper: Authorities check claims by Dubai officials on Hamas man's death.

February 5, 2010 22:29
1 minute read.
Hamas members carry Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's coffin in

Mabhouh coffin 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Members of a hit squad who killed senior Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh used Irish passports to enter and leave Dubai, according to local police authorities quoted by the Evening Herald on Friday.

Up to seven people were said to have been involved in al-Mabhouh's killing, four of whom used Irish passports to enter Dubai and who later fled to a "European country" after the killing, according to police sources in Dubai quoted by the Irish newspaper.

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Declining to reveal their identities, an official said UAE security personnel were coordinating with Interpol to have them extradited.

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A spokesman for the Irish Foreign Ministry told the Herald authorities were aware of the media reports and were “in contact with authorities locally to try and determine the truth of the reports."

Al-Mabhouh had been out for most of the day and returned to his room only after 9 p.m., police said. Pathologists were said to have determined the cause of death as asphyxiation, probably with a pillow found near the body and stained with blood. A room cleaner found his body the next day. He had travelled to Dubai under another name.

Hamas leaders have accused Israel of killing Mabhouh in a posh Dubai hotel on January 20 and threatened revenge, though they have provided little evidence to support their claim. Dubai authorities have said a "professional criminal gang" with European passports was likely behind the killing.

Defense officials said Mabhouh was key to moving arms made in Iran or funded by the Iranian government to Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. He was wanted by Israel for his role in the 1989 kidnapping and murder of two IDF soldiers on leave, Avi Sasportas and Ilan Sa’adon

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