Post-mortem examinations on the bodies of 26 teenage migrant girls found dead in the Mediterranean in early November confirmed they almost all drowned at sea, Italian news agencies reported Wednesday.
This has quelled suspicions that they were s*xually attacked and killed by a group of people. Two people had been arrested by security operatives to further investigate the colossal accident.
The loss of the girls — believed to be Nigerians aged 14 to 18 — has been described by the Nigerian foreign ministry as “a monumental loss and a sad moment for our country”. They were prepared for burial after their family members were contacted to identify their bodies.
According to the post-mortems carried out in Salerno in southern Italy, 25 of the girls died of asphyxiation in the water, most of them when the inflatable dinghy they were travelling on sank. One girl suffered a wound to her liver. Two of the dead were pregnant. The autopsies found no recent trace of physical or sexual violence.[Read Also: Two Men Who Allegedly Killed 26 Nigerian Women Trying to Cross the Mediterranean Arrested in Italy]
According to the UN, 80 percent of young Nigerian women arriving in Italy are already in the clutches of prostitution networks, or quickly fall under their control.
The bodies of the victims were found floating in the water by a Spanish military ship and brought to Italy on November 3 after two separate rescue operations.
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