Migration: 26 Nigerian females die at sea

26 Nigerians 'sexually abused, murdered' at Mediterranean Sea

26 Nigerians 'sexually abused, murdered' at Mediterranean Sea

Italian prosecutors have commenced investigations into the deaths of 26 Nigerian women whose bodies were recovered at sea, BBC reported on Monday.

The trip across the Mediterranean is deadly.

A top Salerno official, Salvatore Malfi, called Sunday's discovery a tragedy and told AFP authorities will "need to see whether there are suspects to concentrate on or whether the murder inquiry will proceed against persons unknown". "The cause of death appears to be by drowning".

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

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Among them were 90 women - eight of them pregnant - and 52 children.

Women are more likely to drown because they can not swim as well as men or because they sit on the lower levels of the vessels carrying them, away from life jackets, according to a 2012 study published in Sage.

Rescue workers recover a dead body from the Spanish ship "Cantabria" in the harbour of Salerno, Italy.

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.

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From January to November of this year, some 111,552 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea, according to the International Organization for Migration, and 2,639 migrants have died along that route. 150,982 migrants have reached European shores, namely 74% arrive on Italian territory. The government has agreed to pay Libyan militias willing to clamp down on human smuggling as part of an unusual deal.

How many people try to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Italy annually? "But also women traveling alone with their children have been abused". The men are believed to have captained one of the boats.

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.

A Spanish warship, Cantabria, carrying 375 other migrants, brought the deceased women's bodies to the southern Italian town of Solerno, Agence France Presse reported.

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Salerno police ideal Salvatore Malfi said that women "suffered the worst" of all who were aboard the ships.

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