Dubai has identified 15 new European suspects in the assassination of a Hamas official at a Dubai luxury hotel, bringing the total number of suspects involved in the death to 26, the government said on Wednesday.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was born in the Gaza Strip but had lived in Syria since 1989, was killed in his hotel room on Jan. 19, a day after he arrived in Dubai.
Of the new suspects, six carried British passports, three held Irish documents, three Australian, and three French, the Dubai government's media office said in an emailed statement.
Dubai authorities last week released the identities of 11 people whom they said travelled on fraudulent British, Irish, French and German passports to kill Mabhouh. Two Palestinians suspected of providing logistical support were in custody.
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," the statement said.
Dubai police also released passport photos and closed-circuit television footage of the suspects, and said two of them had left Dubai by boat for Iran.
Dubai police also released credit card details of some of the suspects. Many were issued by the same U.S. bank.
Police believe more people could have been involved, the statement said.
The United Arab Emirates condemned on Sunday the abuse of European passports by the assassins as police said some of the killers entered the country with diplomatic passports.
The use of passports from European Union countries by the killers has drawn condemnation from the bloc.
"The EU strongly condemns the fact that those involved in this action (assassination) used fraudulent EU member states' passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of EU citizens' identities," a declaration on behalf of EU foreign ministers said.
Dubai has said he is "99, if not 100 percent" sure that Mossad was behind the assassination, and added on Saturday that Dubai had evidence, including wiretaps, of the agency's role.
In 1987, Britain protested to Israel about the forgery by Israeli authorities of British passports and said it received "assurances" steps had been taken to prevent future occurrences.
Over the years, a number of Hamas leaders have killed By Israel.
In 2004, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was killed in an Israeli helicopter gunship attack in Gaza. One month later, another Hamas leader in the enclave, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, was killed when two missiles hit his car.
In 1997, Israeli agents tried to poison Hamas's exiled political supremo Khaled Meshaal in Amman, while in 1995.
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