A 56-year-old British woman has been mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs in Bulgaria, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Margaret Ann Gordon was savaged by seven or eight animals as she was walking her own dog near the village of Nedyalsko yesterday.

Children in the area are said to have tried to help her but were also attacked by the beasts.

It was reported that a shepherd managed to drive the dogs away, but Gordon died from loss of blood before an ambulance arrived.

Her own pet, believed to be a German Shepherd, had escaped and run off.

Gordon, who was born in Wallsend, North Tyneside, had lived in Bulgaria for several years with her husband.