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22 Apr 2015

Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christian fellow passengers overboard killing them because they were Christians.

The Christian migrants, said to be from Ghana and Nigeria, were travelling in an inflatable boat from Libya to Italy, when the shocking incident took place.

The boat was intercepted by an Italian navy vessel, which transferred the passengers to a Panamanian-flagged ship. That ship docked in Palermo on Wednesday, after which the arrests were made, police said.

The police revealed that they learned of the mass killing when they began interviewing tearful survivors from Nigeria and Ghana who had arrived in Palermo Wednesday morning after being rescued at sea by the ship Ellensborg.


According to CNN, the original group of 105 people left Libya on Tuesday in a rubber boat. Sometime during the trip north across the Mediterranean Sea, the alleged assailants – Muslims from Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea, threw the 12 overboard, police said.

The 15 Muslim migrants involved in the row with Christians were arrested in the Sicilian city of Palermo and charged with ‘multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate.’

“Eyewitnesses told police how the altercation resulted in Christians being thrown overboard, and that some of the survivors had formed human chains to avoid a similar fate,’ said CNN.

Also on Thursday, the Italian navy plucked four survivors – a Ghanaian, two Nigerians, and a man from Niger – from the sea. They said their inflatable boat had sunk after leaving Libya with 45 people on board.

The International Organization for Migrants (IOM) says the missing 41 people have drowned.

‘The four survivors were taken to Sicily along with 600 other migrants trying to make the crossing in various vessels,’ added CNN.

Last year a record 170,000 people fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East made the perilous crossing to Italy.

Source: Assist News Service

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord will assist authorities in Italy to accommodate the many who have fled persecution and violence.
  • Pray the Lord will help the victims suffering shock, trauma and grief as a result of what they have witnessed and experienced.
  • Pray the Lord will bring rest and peace to the nations of Africa. Ask him to strengthen His church and draw many to Himself during this period of much turmoil.