Following a religious fight, twelve Nigerian and Ghanaian migrants were thrown overboard, Italian police said yesterday.
The incident aboard the rubber dinghy, which was carrying about 100 migrants, took place in the Strait of Sicily, between Tunisia and Italy, and 15 African Muslim migrants have been arrested over the course by police.
The victims were “of Christian faith, compared to their attackers who were of Muslim faith,” police said in a statement, saying the 15 people arrested were accused of “multiple aggravated murders motivated by religious hate”.
A group of Nigerian and Ghanaian survivors, who narrated the ordeal, disclosed that a fight broke out over religion, with a group of Muslim passengers threatening the Nigerians and Ghanaians after the latter – who were in the minority – declared themselves to be Christians.
“The threats then materialised and 12 people, all Nigerian and Ghanaian, are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean,” the statement added.