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LONDON - A young journalist at the Financial Times was dragged into a river and killed by a crocodile whilst holidaying in Sri Lanka, the BBC reported on Friday.  

Paul McClean, an Oxford University graduate with a first-class degree in French, joined the newspaper as a graduate trainee two years ago and was most recently working for the fastFT news service.  

McClean had been on a beach holiday near Arugam Bay on the island's south-east coast with friends when locals heard him screaming for help as he was pulled into a river by the crocodile, according to an eyewitness cited by the BBC.    

"By the time they went to the spot where the croc attacked, they couldn't save him because already the crocodile had pulled him inside the water so they couldn't see what was going on," Fawas Lafeer, the owner of a surf school, was quoted as saying by the BBC.

The FT said on its website that the cause of death had not been established but that McClean's body had been identified by friends. 

"Few details are known about the circumstances," said Managing Editor James Lamont. "Our thoughts are with his family, friends and loved ones."