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Crocodile suspected to have taken 12-year-old boy, injured another in Australian water hole

A crocodile is suspected to have taken a 12- year-old boy after attacking his friend as they swam in a water hole in a popular Outback tourist destination in northern Australia.

Acting Police Commander Michael White says police believe the missing boy was taken by a crocodile as he and a number of other boys swam on Sunday at Mudginberri Billabong in World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.

White says the same crocodile bit the arm of another 12-year-old boy who was treated by ambulance officers.

Police and park rangers are searching for the boy by land and boat.

Crocodile numbers have exploded across Australia's tropical north since the species was protected by federal law in 1971. The crocodile population is densest in the Northern Territory, where Kakadu National Park is.