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Australia Warns Israel Over Dubai Killing

VOA News 25 February 2010

Australia has issued a warning to Israel after it was revealed that three of the suspects in the killing of a top Palestinian militant in Dubai were carrying forged Australian passports.

Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Israel's ambassador Yuval Rotem Thursday that if Israel was involved, then "Australia would not regard that as the act of a friend."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the misuse or forgery of Australian passports by any state is a matter of "deepest concern."

Dubai police have identified 26 suspects in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the emirate last month.

Dubai authorities say they are virtually certain that Israel's Mossad spy agency was responsible for the killing. Israel has not responded to the allegations.

Newly named suspects carried forged passports from France, Britain, Ireland and Australia.

Police say 10 men and five women from the group named Wednesday provided logistical support to the killers of Hamas commander Mahmoud, who was assassinated on January 19.

Britain's Foreign Office confirmed that six of the suspects identified Wednesday used British passports and said they expect Israel's full cooperation in the case.

The original 11 suspects in the case also used passports from France, Britain or Ireland and, in one case, Germany.

Dubai police say they found many of the credit cards the suspects used to pay for airline tickets, hotel rooms and other expenses had been issued by a small American bank.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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