Girl killed in Reunion shark attack

Map of Reunion showing St Paul

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A teenage girl has been killed by a shark while swimming off the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

The 15-year-old victim, a French holidaymaker, was attacked on Monday while snorkelling a few metres from the shore at Saint-Paul on the west coast, local officials say.

It is the second fatal shark attack near the island so far this year.

Previous fatalities have been surfers attacked further offshore, AFP news agency reports.

It said the girl had travelled from mainland France to visit her father in Reunion. She was swimming with another girl when the attack took place.

Fire and rescue services and a police helicopter are being used to search for body parts, public safety director Gina Hoarau told AFP.

According to local paper Le Journal de l'Ile de la Reunion, authorities had warned the public to be vigilant a few days ago, noting an increase in shark sightings.

Ms Hoarau described the circumstances of Monday's attack as "surprising".

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