AFP

LES AIGRETTES, France

A 13-year-old boy was attacked and killed by a shark Sunday off the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, authorities said, the seventh such deadly attack since 2011.

The shark tore off the boy's limbs and part of his stomach as he was surfing early Sunday morning in an off-limits section of sea off the west coast of the island.

The boy, whose first name was given as Elio, was a keen and promising surfer. It was the 16th shark attack on the island since 2011 and the seventh loss of life.

Authorities immediately put in place a "post-attack procedure" in a bid to capture the shark. Specialised boats were deployed for "targeted fishing in the immediate area around the attack," the local authorities said in a statement.

In February, island authorities extended until February 2016 a law prohibiting swimming and other water-based activities such as surfing and windsurfing except in special areas. This measure has resulted in a dramatic decline in tourism on the island lying to the east of Madagascar.