Italy Launches Investigation Into Deaths Of 26 West African Girls

by Ray Hunter November 8, 2017, 0:33
Italy Launches Investigation Into Deaths Of 26 West African Girls

Among them were 90 women and 52 minors, including a week-old-baby, officials said.

There are suspicions that they may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean. In a recent report, the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera said it has recently witnessed a rise in the number of Nigerian girls and women brought to Italy by sex traffickers.

Italian authorities are probing the deaths of 26 teenage African girls whose bodies were recovered in the Mediterranean Sea along the perilous route to Europe from Libya, according to a report.

Officials believe the 26 girls, who are all Nigerian and range from 14 to 18 years old, died attempting the risky journey from Libya to Europe over the weekend.

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La Repubblica, an Italian medium, reports that a total of 375 migrants rescued from the sea and now in the warship are sub-Saharan Africans from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan.

Libya is the biggest launchpad for African migrants hoping to build new lives in Europe.

Since the beginning of this year, 2,839 migrants have died while on the central Mediterranean route, the International Organization for Migration reports. Many from sub-Saharan Africa are running from war and persecution.

The route used by these women has become a death trap for people escaping their home countries, due to the torture they experience before reaching the water and the high fatality rate once en route to Italy.

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The two men arrested in connection with the finding have been identified as Libyan Al Mabrouc Wisam Harar and Egyptian Mohamed Ali Al Bouzid.

The number of migrants arriving in Italy so far this year is 30 per cent lower than last year - 111,716 through Friday compared to almost 160,000 in the same period of 2016, according to Interior Ministry figures.

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

Nearly 75 per cent of those migrants - about 111,500 people - landed in Italy, and the rest reached the shores of Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

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The route from sub-Saharan Africa to Libya is also unsafe, especially for women.

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