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Killers of Hamas leader used diplomatic passports: Dubai Police

Sunday, February 21, 2010 22:09 IST
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Dubai: In a new disclosure, the Dubai Police chief today said that the 11-member hit squad which killed a senior Hamas leader here last month used diplomatic passports to execute the killing in this Gulf emirate.

"Thereis information in the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud Al Mabhouh that Dubai Police will not announce now, especially with regard to diplomatic passports used by some of the perpetrators to enter Dubai," Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan told government-owned Al-Bayan newspaper. He, however, did not provide further details on the diplomatic passports.

Mabhouh was found dead in a Dubai hotel room on January 20, hours after entering the country. The killing has widely been blamed on the Israeli secret service Mossad, although Israel has not claimed responsibility for the murder.

Last week, Dubai police released the names and photos of 11 suspects with European passports -- six from Britain, three from Ireland, one from Germany and one from France.

According to the media reports, the British passports used in the process bear the marks issued by the competent authorities.

Meanwhile, UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed has said that the Gulf state would endeavour to bring to justice those responsible for the murder of Mabhouh.

"We fully intend that those responsible are brought to account for their actions," Sheikh Abdullah said in a statement released to the state news agency WAM.

"The UAE firmly believes that relations among nations should be conducted on the basis of respect for sovereignty, mutual trust and within the framework of international norms. Like all civilised nations, we abide by these principles and we will deal with this criminal act within the international framework expected of civilised nations," Abdullah said.

He said the abuse of passports poses a global threat, affecting both countries' national security as well as the personal security of travellers.

"The UAE is grateful for the cooperation it has received and will continue to do everything to protect its long-held position as a hospitable country that provides stability and security for its citizens as well as the residents, visiting tourists and the thriving business community within the bounds of UAE law," Abdullah said. He summoned the European Union ambassadors in the UAE to brief them on the developments in the case.

His comments came on a day when Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash held a meeting with all the UAE-based EU ambassadors. The statement said that the country was "deeply concerned by the fact that passports of close allies, whose nationals currently enjoy preferential visa waivers, were illegally used to commit this crime."

"The ministry of foreign affairs has stressed the importance of these countries continuing intensive investigation and cooperation with the UAE until the culprits behind this crime are brought to justice," he added.

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