Immigrants on a boat [file].
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Police arrested a group of migrants in Italy for allegedly throwing 12 Christians overboard during a dangerous journey from Libya by rubber boat, CNN reported on Thursday. All those who were thrown overboard died.
According to police, the suspects, all Muslim, hailed from Mali, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. The 12 Christians who were killed came from Nigeria and Ghana.
During the incident, Palermo police reported that others on the boat "strongly opposed the drowning attempt and formed a human chain" and thus avoided a similar fate to those killed.
The Italian navy intercepted the boat and transferred the people to a Panamanian-flagged ship, which arrived in Palermo on Wednesday. Arrests were made shortly thereafter.
According to the Italian Coast Guard, over 10,000 people came to the Italian coast from Libya in the past week alone.
Many people make the treacherous journey in order to escape poverty or war in their home countries. In 2014, an estimated 3,200 died during attempts to make the trip across the Mediterranean Sea. In October of 2013, more than 100 people drowned and over 200 were unaccounted for after a boat packed with African migrants caught fire and sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa
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