Killers drugged Hamas leader

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The Independent Online

The killers of a Hamas commander drugged him before suffocating him, Dubai police said on yesterday.

Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed last month in his hotel room in what Dubai police say they are almost certain was a hit by Israel's Mossad spy agency.



The killers used a muscle relaxant to tranquillise Mabhouh before suffocating him, said deputy police chief Khamis al-Mazeina, quoted by the Dubai police website.



"The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural as there were no signs of resistance shown by the victim," he said.



Dubai authorities have named 26 alleged members of the team that tracked and killed the Palestinian and said they operated in disguise and used fraudulent British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports.



People with the same names as many of the suspects live in Israel and say their identities were stolen. The passport abuse has drawn criticism from the European Union, and some of the governments involved have summoned the Israeli ambassadors to their countries to protest.



Israel has not denied or confirmed it played any role but its foreign minister said there was nothing to link it to the killing.



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