French toddler dies after pitbull attack

Lille - An 18-month-old girl disfigured by a pitbull dog in Epernay, east of Paris, died overnight, hospital sources said on Sunday.

"The little girl died at 00H55 hours," hospital director Corinne Meunier said.

She was bitten in her home a week ago after the dog reacted suddenly when she did not play with it. Her mother was watching the dog for her sister's boyfriend.

The mayor of Epernay told AFP he was "angry", saying it was necessary to get rid of this type of dog in France.

French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie announced that officials would meet on Monday to discuss the issue.

According to the state prosecutor's office, the dog was in line with current law. A pitbull, also called an American Staffordshire terrier, is considered a category two dog which must be registered with the mayor's office and insured.

The president of the high court will make a request Monday that the animal be euthanised, deputy prosecutor Jean-Francois Kuhn told AFP.

American Staffordshire terriers are fighting dogs bred from a cross between a bull dog and a terrier.

Twenty-eight people have been killed by dogs in France since 1989, the majority of the victims being babies or old age pensioners.

The world's first partial face transplant patient was a 38-year-old woman from northern France whose lower face was savaged by a dog.


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