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Tunisian engineer, allegedly assassinated by Mossad, was Hamas military leader

Tunisian engineer, allegedly assassinated by Mossad, was Hamas military leader

Members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, take part in a ceremony, on December 18, 2016, in Gaza City, in the memory of one of their leaders, Mohamed Zoari, who was killed in Tunisia.

Zawari, 49, had been in Tunisia only a few days when he was shot dead outside his home by multiple gunshots while in his auto near Sfax, 270km southeast of Tunis, on Thursday.

The Tunisian government on Sunday said that foreigners were behind the murder of a Tunisian engineer, after the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas said Israel was behind his death.

"The Qassam Brigades mourn the martyr of Palestine, martyr of Tunisia, martyr of Arab and Islamic nations and martyr of the Qassam Brigades, Mohamed al-Zawari", the Brigades said in a Saturday statement.

Four rental cars were used in the killing and two handguns and suppressors were seized, Tunisia's interior ministry said.

A judicial spokesman from Sfax, Mourad Tourki, told Tunisian radio Shems FM eight Tunisian nationals had been arrested in connection with the killing. The poster bore the logo of Hamas' armed wing and referred to Alzoari as a commander.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Tunisian journalist Burhan Basis said that the Mossad had carried out the assassination and al-Zawahri's work on drones for the Hamas movement led to Israeli intelligence targeting the official.

Al-Zawhri was also a former Tunisair pilot, according to Haaretz, and worked with Tunisia's civil aviation in assisting the training of young people on how to operate drones. "The enemy must know the Zoari's blood was not spilled in vain".

Al-Zawari had returned to Tunisia in 2011 after spending two decades overseas.

There was no comment from Israel on the allegation.

Hamas has provided no evidence for its claims that Israel was behind the latest killing.

Israel will neither confirm nor deny its involvement officially.

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