Italian prosecutors are investigating the deaths of 26 Nigerian girls – most of them youngsters – whose our bodies have been recovered at sea.
There are suspicions that they might have been badually abused and murdered as they tried to cross the Mediterranean.
Five migrants are being questioned within the southern port of Salerno.
A Spanish warship, Cantabria, docked there carrying 375 migrants and the lifeless girls, following a number of rescues.
Twenty-three of the lifeless girls had been on a rubber boat with 64 different individuals.
Italian media report that the ladies’s our bodies are being stored in a refrigerated part of the warship. Most of them have been aged 14-18.
Most of the 375 survivors dropped at Salerno have been sub-Saharan Africans, from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan, the day by day La Repubblica experiences.
Among them have been 90 girls – eight of them pregnant – and 52 youngsters.
There have been additionally some Libyan women and men on board.
People-smuggling gangs cost every migrant about $6,000 (£four,578) to get to Italy, $four,000 of which is for the trans-Saharan journey to Libya, based on the Italian badist group L’Abbraccio.
Many migrants have reported violence, together with torture and badual abuse, by the gangs.
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In the yr to 1 November, 150,982 migrants arrived in southern Europe by boat from North Africa, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) experiences.
Of them, 111,552 (almost 75%) got here through the Central Mediterranean path to Italy. The quantity who died on that route was 2,639, the IOM says.
The others arrived in Greece, Cyprus or Spain. The complete is lower than half the 335,158 who arrived in the identical interval of 2016.
Last yr the overall for Greece was greater than that for Italy.
A word on terminology: The BBC makes use of the time period migrant to check with all individuals on the transfer who’ve but to finish the authorized strategy of claiming asylum. This group consists of individuals fleeing war-torn international locations equivalent to Syria, who’re prone to be granted refugee standing, in addition to people who find themselves in search of jobs and higher lives, who governments are prone to rule are financial migrants.