A Hamas leader who was killed in his Dubai hotel room, allegedly by Mossad agents, was drugged and then suffocated to death, police said on Sunday.
"The killers used the drug succinylcholine to sedate (Mahmoud) al-Mabhouh before they suffocated him," the statement quoted Major General Khamis Mattar al-Mazeina, deputy commander of Dubai police, as saying.
"The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural," the statement said, adding that "there were no signs of resistance shown by the victim."
Succinylcholine is used to induce muscle relaxation and is favoured by anaesthetists and emergency doctors because of its fast onset.
Mabhouh, one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing, was killed last month in his hotel room in what Dubai police say was almost certainly a hit by Israel’s Mossad spy agency.
Dubai authorities have identified 26 people suspected of involvement in his killing.
Once their part in the operation was completed, the suspects, reportedly fled to different parts of the world, with two suspects leaving Dubai by boat for Iran.
Two Palestinians suspected of providing logistical support were in detention and Dubai’s police chief, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan, has said he believes the operation could not have been carried out without information from inside Hamas on Mabhouh’s travel details.