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Polar bear kills camper from British group in Norway

A polar bear has killed one person and seriously injured four in an attack on a group of campers from a British group in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.

The average age of the group was 18.

The bear has been killed and the four wounded people are being flown to the mainland, NRK reported.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Our embassy in Oslo is urgently looking into reports of an incident in northern Norway."

Liv Asta Odegaard, a spokeswoman for the Governor of Svalbard, said: "We got a call via satellite phone from a British group of campers that there had been a polar bear attack and that one person was dead and that others were injured and they needed assistance.

"There are no roads in the area of the Von Postbreen glacier where the incident happened so we scrambled a helicopter."

She added that four other people had been "severely injured" and had been taken, first, to hospital in Longyearbyen and that air ambulances would be flying the injured on to University Hospital in Tromso.



It is not known how many were in the party or whether they were on an organised tour or travelling individually.



Earlier this year the Svalbard Governor issued a warning about polar bears after several were seen close to Longyearbyen.

People who spotted bears were asked to telephone a special number. The Governor reminded the public that under local regulations it was prohibited to seek out and disturb polar bears and that obvious violations of this rule could be punished by fine or jail.



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