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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 20:55 GMT
El Al 'planted gun on passenger'
An air passenger was stunned to find a handgun in his luggage after a flight with Israel's national carrier El Al.

The man discovered the weapon while unpacking in Israel after a visit to Germany, reports Israeli daily Haaretz.

He immediately reported the find to the police only to be told that the weapon, which had been de-activated, was part of a security drill for airline staff.

Security officers sometimes put replica guns in luggage to keep bag checkers on their toes, Haaretz says.

In theory, the weapon would be discovered during checks and removed, leaving passengers none the wiser.

This handgun, however, appears to have slipped through the net.

The airline could not confirm or deny the report.

"El Al uses different tactics to ensure the safety of its passengers," said a spokeswoman. "We won't detail our tactics."

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