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Brilliant Oxford graduate and Financial Times reporter, 24, allegedly 'killed by a crocodile whi

A journalist for the Financial Times is feared to have been dragged into a lagoon and killed by a crocodile in Sri Lanka.

Paul McClean is believed to have been snatched as he washed his hands during a surfing holiday.

Witnesses said they saw the 24-year-old wave his arms in the air before vanishing under the water.

Police and the army launched a hunt but it is feared the crocodile may have hidden his body in the muddy lagoon.

The crocodile is believed to have struck yesterday afternoon as Mr McClean was washing his hands in a lagoon or river set back from the beach in an area called Elephant Rock, a popular surfing area for British backpackers, near Arugam Bay in the East of Sri Lanka.

Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School, near the scene, said: ‘He was learning to surf and after that he wanted to go to the toilet.

‘He went in the jungle, about 800 meters. It was when he was washing his hands that the crocodile took him.

‘A local fisherman witnessed a man being dragged into a river, set back from the beach, by a crocodile.