A surveillance camera grab showing Mahmoud Al Mabhouh (circled) arriving at the Al Bustan hotel. The victim was closely followed by the team of assassins before they pounced on him in his hotel room, police said. Image Credit: Supplied

Manama: British government sources on Tuesday said the three Irish passport-holders accused of being involved in the assassination of a top Hamas leader in January were Israeli Mossad agents, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The London-based paper reported that "there was no 'corroboration' within Whitehall of any British involvement in the assassination plot" and that "government sources said that officials do not believe any Irish nationals were involved but were Mossad agents using Irish passports."

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A Foreign Office spokesman said officials were "seeking further information" and were aware a request had been made to Interpol for arrest warrants, the paper said.

"Asked if any of the names had been registered with British officials or if any had reported passports being stolen, a spokeswoman for the Home Office declined to comment."

The Telegraph quoted a spokesman for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs as saying that "the Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi is in constant touch with the emirate on a daily basis, but have received no official confirmation on any Irish nationals being involved."

Scotland Yard sources also had no knowledge of any British involvement in the plot, the report said.

The report was published hours after Dubai Police Chief Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim said senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al Mabhouh was murdered by an 11-member hit squad of mercenaries carrying European passports.

Six of the suspects carried British passports, three others had Irish passports, while the other two had French and German travel documents.

The Britons were named as James Leonard Clarke, Stephen Daniel Hodes, Paul John Keeley, Michael Lawrence Barney, Jonathan Lewis Graham, Melvyn Adam Milliner.

The woman had Irish papers and was named as Gail Folliard. The other Irish were named as Kevin Daveron and Evan Dennings.

Al Mabhouh was killed in his hotel room on January 20.