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Shark kills surfer in Western Australia

(Xinhua)

08:49, September 05, 2011

CANBERRA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- A man in his early 20s has been killed by a shark while surfing in south-west Western Australia on Sunday afternoon, Australian police confirmed.

Police said the man was body-boarding with a friend at a popular tourist spot, Sugarloaf Rock off Bunker Bay, about 250 kilometers south of Perth, when the shark attacked.

Police said the shark snatched the man from a group of friends and savaged him so badly that the lower half of the boarder's body was torn away.

"He was body-boarding with about four of five of his mates when he was taken out of the group," a police spokesman told ABC News on Sunday. "He's lost the lower half of his body and he's deceased. "

Police said the identity of the man is known, but they are yet to notify his family. The beach has been closed due to the incident.

It is the first fatal shark attack in Australia since February, when a man diving for abalone was savaged off South Australia.

According to official data, fatal shark attacks are rare in Australia, with just 24 recorded deaths in Australia in the 20 years up to June 2009.

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