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16:30 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Egyptian killer shark caught after mauling four tourists in Red Sea resort

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A killer shark was caught off the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh a day after it badly mauled four swimmers on Wednesday, the Egyptian environment ministry said.

A killer shark was caught off the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh a day after it badly mauled four swimmers on Wednesday, the Egyptian environment ministry said.

In three separate incidents on Wednesday, three Russians and one Ukrainian were rushed to hospital after being attacked by a shark in reefs close to their beach hotels. One Russian tourist remains in critical condition after the attack.

The 2.25-meter adult whitetip shark was tracked down and captured in a large-scale effort involving 12 environment ministry specialists and two boats.

The shark was "identified" by an Egyptian diver, who rescued one of the tourists. He recognized the predator's damaged fin. However, additional research will be carried out to confirm that this particular shark was responsible for the attacks.

The shark will be sent to a taxidermist and then put on display in the Ras Mohammed National Park some 20 kilometers from Sharm el-Sheikh.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism made an unprecedented decision to close all beaches and halt all watersport activities across the entire Sharm el-Sheikh coastline.

Hesham Gabr, who heads the country's Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS), urged tourists to remain calm, saying that shark attacks are an extremely rare occurrence at Red Sea resorts, visited by about 3 million people each year.

"We are monitoring the situation very closely and working together with all authorities to ensure the safety of all members and visitors of the Red Sea," he said.

Richard Peirce, the chairman of the Shark Trust in Britain, also confirmed that such behavior is extremely unusual.

"It is probable that the tragic attacks were triggered by a specific activity or event... Attacks on humans by sharks are extremely rare and this species would normally not be found close to shore on bathing beaches," he said.

According to the International Shark File, which has a global shark attack database, there have only been nine reports of attacks by oceanic whitetip sharks on humans since records began in 1580, and only one of them was fatal.

MOSCOW, December 2 (RIA Novosti)