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26 teenage girls found dead at sea

26 teenage girls found dead at sea

The BBC reports that the Spanish warship, Cantabria, which is docked in the city was found to be carrying the bodies of the women among 375 rescued migrants.

Following several rescues, their bodies were discovered in a Spanish warship, Cantabria, carrying 375 migrants and the dead women; 23 of whom women had been on a rubber boat with 64 other people.

Bodies of 26 Nigerian women, largely comprising of teenagers have been recovered at sea.

Salerno's Head of Police, Lorena Ciccotti, told CNN that autopsies would be carried out on Tuesday and that coroners would be investigating whether the girls had been tortured or sexually abused.

Five migrants are now being questioned at the port.

Twenty-three of the women died on Friday after the inflatable dinghy they were travelling on sank, and their bodies were recovered by the Spanish ship Cantabria, which was operating as part of the European Union anti-trafficking force Sophia. "Loading women onto a boat is too risky, the traffickers would not do it as they could lose all their "goods" - as they describe them - in one fell swoop", he said, the news agency reported. Many from sub-Saharan Africa, are fleeing war and persecution; others from impoverished nations in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia have made the treacherous journey in search of better economic opportunities. Authorities are also looking for signs of violence against the deceased women, according to the report. Last year, from January to November: 159,467 migrants arrived in Italy and 3,615 people died on the route.

Despite the drop, traffickers are still sending migrant boats out into the Mediterranean: the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday that more than 2,560 migrants had been saved over four days. A total number of 2,839 have died so far this year along all primary Mediterranean routes.

A year ago the total for Greece was higher than that for Italy.

The others arrived in Greece, Cyprus or Spain.

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.