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Girl, 15, killed in beach shark attack off French island

Latest update : 16/07/2013

Article text by FRANCE 24

A 15-year-old tourist has been killed by a shark in shallow water on the coast of French overseas territory Réunion, an island in the Indian Ocean. She is the second person to be killed by sharks off the island so far this year.

A 15-year-old girl was killed on Monday in a shark attack at a beach on the island of Réunion, a French territory in the Indian Ocean.

It is the second shark fatality there this year and the fifth since 2011, but the first since 1999 that has occurred in shallow water. Fatalities are more usually among surfers and wind surfers.

According to police, the unnamed girl, holidaying on the island, was a “within a few metres” of the water’s edge when she was attacked.

There has been a large number of shark sightings off Reunion this year, and on July 5 the authorities issued a warning for bathers and water sports enthusiasts to be on the lookout.

In May, Thierry Robert, the Réunion’s French National Assembly Member, signed a by-law encouraging shark fishing, particularly targeting bull sharks, which are believed to be responsible for most of the attacks in recent years.

That by-law was suspended in June after legal action by environmentalist groups. However, sharks can still be hunted for research purposes.

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