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By Sa­man­tha Kett A SCHOOL­GIRL in Gan­dia has been ' saved' from com­plet­ing the no­to­ri­ous 'Blue Whale Chal­lenge' af­ter one of her friends told the Na­tional Po­lice.

The fool­hardy, but vi­ral 'Blue Whale' started in Rus­sia and has ex­tended world­wide via so­cial me­dia and in­volves 50 chal­lenges to be un­der­taken over 50 days.

It starts with the sim­ple task of draw­ing a whale on a piece of pa­per, then by around the mid­dle of the seven weeks, par­tic­i­pants have to carve a whale into their arm – each stage of which has to be videoed and up­loaded onto the in­ter­net.

Those who join in are as­signed a ' men­tor' who will egg them on and shame them pub­licly if they do not com­plete the chal­lenges.

Task 50 in­volves com­mit­ting sui­cide, and the Gan­dia teen had al­ready planned to jump off the top of a build­ing.

Po­lice were alerted by the young woman's school af­ter a close fe­male friend told her teach­ers.

The girl had be­come in- volved via In­sta­gram and through a Gan­dia-based What­sApp group of some 80 teens, and re­ceived a call from a 'men­tor' aged ' ap­prox­i­mately 18 to 20', of­fi­cers said.

She wrote down the 50 tasks on pa­per so her friends and fam­ily would not trace them.

The teen had al­ready got through the tasks of carv­ing 'F57' onto her arm, which she did with the blade of a pen­cil­sharp­ener, and watch­ing vi­o­lent and scary films in the early hours of the morn­ing.

Her friend, who had be­come sus­pi­cious, found the list in the girl's ruck­sack and told her teach­ers, who con­tacted the po­lice, so­cial ser­vices and the young­ster's par­ents.

They all had a long chat with her, and the case has been logged with the youth pros­e­cu­tion ser­vice, which ex­ists for child pro­tec­tion, not just pros­e­cu­tion.

Back in Septem­ber, ru­mours went around that a teenage boy from Gan­dia had reached task 50 and killed him­self, but Na­tional Po­lice say this was 'fake news'.

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