Pit bull dog kills child in suburban Australia

A pit bull terrier mauled a four-year-old girl to death in Australia on Wednesday as her adult cousin tried to fight off the animal.

The dog killed Ayen Chol and badly wounded her 30-year-old cousin after wandering into her family's yard in the Melbourne suburb of St Albans, the Herald Sun newspaper reported.

The female cousin struggled with the dog but failed to stop the attack until it was too late, suffering bites to her arms and hands. The dog also attacked another cousin, aged five, who received facial injuries.

"She is a lovely little girl. She was very talkative. It is for sure a terrible shock," said relative Daniel Atem.

"It is something that you can't imagine but in the end maybe it is the will of God."

A 30-year-old man who lives a few doors away owned the dog. It was not clear what had happened to the dog.

Pit bulls are restricted breeds in Australia and many other countries. They are known for their aggressive nature and ferocity in attack, which is why they are prized by dog fighters.

Last week a pit bull killed a pregnant San Francisco-area woman, Reuters reported.

The woman's husband came home to find his wife's body on the floor, with the dog standing over her. Police shot the animal in the front yard of the home.

And on Tuesday a jury in Jackson found the owner of pit bulls that mauled a six-year-old girl guilty of keeping dangerous animals that caused serious injury, according to AP.