An 11-year-old Franco-Mexican bullfighter killed six young bulls on Saturday in a controversial performance that child protection and anti-bullfighting campaigners had hoped to stop.

"I'm happy to have achieved this great victory," said the boy before leaving the bloodied bull ring in Merida, southeastern Mexico.A local judge earlier gave the go-ahead for the child to fight six calves aged from one to two years after reviewing licenses and permits submitted by Michelito's father, the former French bullfighter Michel Lagravere.

Animal rights groups and child protection officials had previously asked the state human rights commission to suspend the event.But the boy's father defended the decision to allow the 11-year-old to fight, saying: "Michelito has fought bulls since he was six years old and he's never had a serious accident."

A video of the fight will be sent to Guinness for consideration for a world record - for the number of bulls killed and the age of the bullfighter.Some 3,500 people, including many young children, gathered at the ring to witness the bullfight.

Several bullfights by Michelito were banned in France last summer after protests from anti-bullfighting associations.Michelito has killed dozens of bulls in Mexico since he was six years old.

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