updated 4/14/2009 1:33:26 PM ET 2009-04-14T17:33:26

A 9-year-old boy is recovering in northern Brazil after surgeons successfully removed an 8-inch fishing spear from his face, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

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Ronilson Ataide Mesquita was speared while fishing with his cousin Marcos, age 11, in the Pacajai River in the Amazon jungle state of Para, Hospital Metropolitano spokeswoman Lucrecia Girao said.

Shortly after Ronilson dived into the water, Marcos mistook him for a fish and fired the two-pronged spear into the water, Girao said.

One tip struck Ronilson's right eyebrow and the other embedded itself in the ocular bone beneath the eyeball, which was not affected.

Just two weeks ago, doctors removed a 6-inch fishing spear from the brain of a man who was struck while diving off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Emerson de Oliveira Abreu apparently fired the spear, which ricocheted off rocks and penetrated his own head.

It took doctors five hours of high-risk surgery to remove the projectile, which entered just above Abreu's left eye and missed the most critical areas of his brain.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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