Men arrested over deaths of teenage Nigerian women

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SALERNO - Two men have been arrested in connection with the deaths of 26 Nigerian young women and girls who drowned in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean. The two men, 30 year-old Libyan Al Mabrouc Wisam Harar and 22 year-old Egyptian Mohamed Ali Al Bouzid, are believed to have chartered the boat and have been charged with human trafficking.

 News sources have questioned whether the women, aged between and 14 and 18, were sexually abused and then murdered while aboard the ship. There have been reports that the women’s bodies were kept in a refrigerated section of the warship. However, the prefect of Salerno, Salvatore Malfi, has expressed doubts that the women were being moved as part of sex trafficking operation as these routes are typically not by sea.

 Prefect Malfi has expressed the opinion that women did not die of natural causes: “we have already had other deaths, but on this ship it will be more complicated as a moral impact. What needs to be done, for the sake of justice, will be done … that someone has killed these women and that it has not been a thunderbolt from heaven is an obvious thing.”

 The men were picked up, along with 400 other migrants, in the Mediterranean by a Spanish ship, and were taken to Salerno Monday morning. The other survivors of the shipwreck include migrants from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Libya.