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4/17/15

Italy: Christian migrants thrown overboard into Mediterranean en route to Italy

Italian police arrested 15 Muslim migrants on Thursday suspected of throwing about a dozen Christians from a boat in the Mediterranean as it headed to Italy. Police in the Sicilian capital Palermo said they had arrested the men, from Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal after survivors reported they had thrown 12 people from Nigeria and Ghana to their deaths and threatened other Christians.

The 15 were arrested on charges of multiple homicide motivated by religious hatred.

“The motive for the resentment was traced to their faiths,” police said. “Twelve people are said to have drowned in the waters of the Mediterranean, all of them Nigerian and Ghanaian.”

The survivors’ account underscores the rising chaos in the Mediterranean, which thousands of migrants, many fleeing war and deprivation in Africa, try to cross in rickety boats in the hope of a better life in Europe.

In a separate incident the same day, another 41 migrants were feared drowned after their boat sank en route to Italy, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

Around 20,000 migrants have reached the Italian coast this year, according to the IOM, fewer than arrived in the first four months of last year, but the number of deaths has risen almost nine-fold.

Read more: Europe - Christian migrants thrown overboard into Mediterranean en route to Italy - France 24

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