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Diplomat quizzed over passport row

The Israeli Ambassador to Ireland is set to be asked to explain why three genuine Irish passport numbers were on forged papers used by the hit squad behind the assassination of a Hamas commander.

Dr Zion Evrony has been summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin over the use of duplicate codes on fake documents used by the killers of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in the Middle East.

They were among 11 European identity papers revealed by Dubai police hunting a secret service team which allegedly killed al-Mabhouh last month.

Israeli agents from Mossad have been blamed for the murder.

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin said the meeting with the ambassador would be frank and direct.

"It is an extremely serious incident and event and puts the security of Irish citizens at risk, there is no question of that," he said.

Two of the Irish people whose passport numbers were copied have been contacted and were due to travel this weekend.

The minister said Interpol are on red alert and the two unsuspecting Irish citizens would likely have been arrested as they attempted to fly.

Dr Evrony is expected to meet Foreign Affairs Secretary General David Cooney and other diplomatic officials.

Mr Martin said he believed that the numbers had been randomly stolen. One of the three Irish passport holders embroiled in the assassination plot has never been in the Middle East, he said, and one has still to be contacted.

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