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8 more people claim stolen identity in Hamas chief slaying

JERUSALEM - Eight more people in Israel turned out yesterday to have names matching suspects in the assassination of a top Hamas operative in Dubai, and claimed their identities had been stolen.

The son of one of those newly caught up in the case said his father did not know whom to turn to because the country's Mossad spy agency is strongly suspected of masterminding the killing.

The latest revelations follow Dubai's release a day earlier of the names of 15 new suspects. They deepened suspicions of Israeli involvement in the Jan. 19 slaying of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, whom Israel had identified as the point man for smuggling weapons to the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers.

The unraveling of the spy-novel-like story is producing new twists on a near-daily basis, raising questions such as why so many people were needed to carry out the hit, especially with Dubai surveillance capturing their movements. The apparent use of forged documents has also put Israel in hot water with some of its staunchest allies.

"It's clear that illegal use was made of personal information," said Raphael Cannon, whose father Roy, 62, an immigrant from Britain, shares one of the 15 new names released by Dubai on Wednesday.

Cannon told The Associated Press the full name and birth date on the forged passport matched his father's, but the photo did not.

Dubai's announcement brought the number of people suspected in al-Mabhouh's killing to 26. In all, at least 15 of the names match those of real people who live in Israel - and at least half of them are dual nationals. All of those contacted have said their identities were used without their permission.

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