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US President Barack Obama’s black Cadillac limousine has broken down in Israel after a member of the Secret Service reportedly filled its tank with diesel rather than petrol by mistake.

The Telegraph newspaper in the UK reports the heavily armoured limo dubbed ‘The Beast’ spluttered to a halt on a highway on the way from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

A Secret Service official said the cause of the breakdown was still unknown, and the driver of the tow truck called to rescue the president’s Cadillac was also unable to confirm if the use of incorrect fuel was to blame.

The breakdown occurred two hours before Obama touched down in Israel, from where he travelled to Jerusalem by helicopter as originally planned.

The Telegraph reports The Beast, which was intended to transport the president around Jerusalem during his visit, has been replaced by another limousine that was driven in from Jordan.

The owner of the local tow truck company said despite being the most powerful man in the world, Obama would not get a discount on the repair work.