Italy probes deaths of 26 Nigerian women from migrant boats

  • Italy probes deaths of 26 Nigerian women from migrant boats

Italy probes deaths of 26 Nigerian women from migrant boats

A Spanish warship, Cantabria, docked there carrying 375 migrants and the dead women, following several rescues.

Italian authorities say they have launched an investigation into the cause of death of the 26 teenage girls believed to have been migrants from Niger and Nigeria, who had boarded a flimsy rubber dinghy from Libya with hopes of reaching Europe.

Autopsies will be conducted on Tuesday and coroners will investigate whether the girls had been tortured or sexually abused. Survivors were found grabbing on to parts of a boat, as the teens' bodies floated around them. Of the 400 people rescued and brought overseas Spanish vessel, Cantabria, 90 women and 52 minors, including a week-old-baby were saved.

"We will need to see whether there are suspects to concentrate on or whether the murder inquiry will proceed against persons unknown", he said.

Libya is a well-known port in the region where many from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia use in efforts to relocate.

"In all, 2,839 people have died while attempting the crossing so far, this year", it said.

Traffickers are still sending migrant boats out into the Mediterranean - the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on November 3 that more than 2,560 migrants had been saved over four days. It's estimated that around 152,982 migrants have made it to Europe, while 74 percent are marked as Italian arrivals.

That's a smaller number than the same area saw in the same period past year, where 159,467 migrants arrived in Italy and 3,615 people died on the route, according to the IOM.

The others arrived in Greece, Cyprus or Spain. "But also women traveling alone with their children have been abused". One humanitarian worker told the Post about women she had met who were penetrated with objects such as guns.

The latest search and rescue operation in the stretch of sea separating Libya and Italy highlights some of the brutal treatment that female refugees and migrants are subjected to.

"Police Prefect Malfi called this a human tragedy and said his office has appealed to neighboring towns to provide dignified burial for the Nigerian women".