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Interpol joins search for Dubai killers

The passport copy of a woman identified by Dubai authorities as Melanie Heard of France is seen in this handout picture released by Dubai police February 24, 2010. REUTERS/Dubai Police/Handout/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - Interpol has joined the Dubai task force investigating the murder of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh and has issued a further 16 so-called “Red Notices” to assist in arrests, the global police body said on Monday.

Red Notices allow arrest warrants issued by national police authorities to be circulated to other countries to facilitate arrests and help possible extradition.

Interpol said the move brought the number of Red Notices in the case to 27, highlighting the suspected international links and scale of the assassination plot, which Dubai police have blamed on Israel.

Israeli authorities have neither confirmed nor denied any role in the killing of Mabhouh in Dubai last January.

Officials uncovered evidence of a large team travelling on forged British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports to carry out the assassination and make their getaway.

Two groups are believed to have been involved in the operation, a core party which carried out the killing and a larger group which provided support and surveillance, Interpol said in a statement.

It said Dubai police had established clear links between the 27 suspects in the case, based on evidence including passport records, video surveillance and DNA analysis.

Writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Robin Pomeroy