- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ROME (AP) - A German tourist was mauled Tuesday in southern Sicily by a pack of mistreated and famished dogs that have already killed a 10-year-old boy, authorities said.

Police in the town of Scicli said they were hunting for the pack that has terrorized the area over the last few days.

Officials said the pack belonged to a resident who kept dozens of dogs of different breeds in unsanitary conditions and with little food. The man was arrested on a manslaughter charge on Sunday after some of the hungry animals killed the boy, who was from the nearby town of Modica.

The case sparked outrage in Italy, especially after news reports, citing local health officials, said some of the dogs were strays that authorities had entrusted to the man, believing he could take care of them.

While police captured most of the dogs, more attacks have since been reported. In the latest incident, a 24-year-old German woman was mauled Tuesday morning on the beach near Scicli.

She was reported in serious condition and taken to a hospital in Catania, where she was undergoing surgery.

“Her face was particularly disfigured,” said Christian Ilardi, a rescue official who was on the helicopter that rushed the woman to Catania. “Her life is in serious danger due to the wounds, which are very deep.”

The ANSA news agency reported two of the dogs were shot and killed later Tuesday as they attacked a police patrol.

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