- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A 15-year-old French girl was killed Monday afternoon after a shark bit her in half while swimming off the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, the fifth person to be killed by sharks on the island since 2011.

The teenager’s body was sliced in two at the torso, and then “a part of her body was taken away by the shark”, said Gina Hoarau, the head of public safety on the island, AFP reported.

The girl, named only as “Sarah,” was snorkelling with a friend just yards away from a popular restaurant in an unsupervised area where bathing is forbidden due to high shark numbers, officials said, according to The Guardian.

“The conditions of this attack are very surprising. We didn’t think a shark could come so close to the shore,” said Ms. Hoarau.

Sarah was on vacation from France with her father, the head of a yacht club in St. Paul.

A spike in attacks off the island prompted France to hire a team of fishermen to kill around 20 sharks, but Paris has refused to mount a bigger hunt, The Guardian reported.

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