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The Shin Bet security service yesterday confirmed reports in the U.S. media that four pistols were stolen from security agents protecting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, but would not offer any more details.

According to NBC News, Netanyahu's bodyguards could not account for four Glock handguns, which were apparently stolen en route to his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday.

One of the suitcases belonging to the official Israeli delegation was mistakenly transferred by American Airlines from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to LAX in Los Angeles, according to the report. The bag, which was sent as checked luggage as required, was eventually found - minus four handguns.

The bag apparently belonged to the security team sent to Washington ahead of the visit. Netanyahu's security does not appear to have been compromised at any point.

A Shin Bet spokesman said yesterday it was not clear whether the guns disappeared before or after the luggage was put on the wrong flight.

Port Authority police in New York are investigating whether the weapons went missing before or after the suitcase was transferred to LAX.

One source told NBC that the suitcase was inspected and cleared for shipment by Transportation Security Administration screeners who put a seal over the bag at Kennedy Airport.

American Airlines did not comment on the incident.