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DOGS KILL BOY, 6, IN SCHOOL PLAYGROUND; Fighting beasts go wild.

A BOY of six was bitten to death by two fighting dogs who brought terror to a school playing field yesterday.

Ten pupils were waiting for a sports lesson when the pitbull and Staffordshire terriers escaped from a couple walking them and went for the children.

Two were mauled, others managed to get away - then the six-year-old took the brunt of the horror assault. The snarling beasts bit him on the face, then flung him to the ground.

The helpless child was savaged around the head and neck as the dogs shook him "like a doll".

An emergency call from the school swiftly summoned police, who shot dead the pitbull.

The Staffordshire terrier was also hit, but ran off several hundred yards before another shot proved fatal.

Police said: "Unfortunately, the boy was dead by the time the dogs were chased away."

The field is said to be used often by owners of fighting dogs to stage their cruel contests.

Last night survivors of the attack in Hamburg, Germany - some of whom may have seen their friend die from their junior school windows - were in shock.

The terriers are believed to have turned on the couple exercising them and got away.

A woman, 19, and a man, 23, were questioned.

The girl was badly shocked and the man had treatment for bites.

Police said the owner had already been ordered to keep one of the dogs muzzled and on a lead at all times after it had attacked other animals. The state prosecutor was considering charges of negligent manslaughter.

Police said: "We do not yet know whether the pair with the dogs were the owners."

Dad Saer Cetat, 38, said: "My daughter was there. She is in shock and changes between crying and being silent.

"I got to the school as soon as I heard. The bodies of the dogs and of the boy were still lying there on the ground."

Germany has seen a spate of attacks by specially-bred fighting dogs.

Two months ago, five people were mauled by a pitbull in Bremerhaven.

-AMY-Jane Lever, five, is "poorly" after being bitten on the face by a pet Alsatian at home in Manchester.
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Author:Dowdney, Mark
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2000
Words:363
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