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Thirty dead bodies found on migrant boat bound for Italy – TheGuardian

A fishing boat containing the bodies of about 30 people was being towed by an Italian navy frigate to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo in the latesttragedy to hit the busy Mediterranean crossing route. The Italian navy said the

fishing boat containing the bodies of about 30 people was being towed by an Italian navy frigate to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo in the latesttragedy to hit the busy Mediterranean crossing route.

The Italian navy said the bodies had been found in the bow during a rescue mission on Sunday afternoon as part of the country’s Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) operation, which aims to intercept migrant vessels before they run into trouble.

The probable cause of death was asphyxiation and drowning, according to medical staff at the scene, who also advised against the bodies being removed “due to restricted space”, a navy statement said on Monday.

Once the navy had finished


the 566 survivors on to the Grecale, the frigate began towing the boat to Pozzallo, a small port on the south-east coast of Sicily, where it is expected to arrive on Tuesday.


Although the Italian government would like other EU countries to help shoulder its €9m(£7.2m) monthly costs, Rome is committed to the Mare Nostrum operation, which it and non-governmental organisations say has saved countless lives.

The operation was launched in the aftermath of twin disasters in October, in which about 400 people died.

But as the discovery on Sunday shows, the mission has not managed to prevent deaths. In May, 36 people died and 42 were missing after their boat ran into trouble off Libya, while at least 17 more died when their vessel sank south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The tragedies have prompted rightwing political critics of Mare Nostrum to demand an end to the operation, arguing that it has simply encouraged more people to make the perilous crossing.

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the xenophobic Northern League, accused the prime minister, Matteo Renzi, of having blood on his hands following the latest tragedy.

“Another 30 dead on a boat. Another 30 dead on the consciences of those who defend Mare Lorum [Their Sea]. Stop the departures, help them in their own countries, immediately,” he wrote on Facebook.

After a busy weekend in which the navy said more than 5,000 migrants and asylum seekers had been rescued, the pressure looked certain to be raised on southern Italy’s already overstretched ports and reception facilities.

Last Thursday the interior ministry said almost 60,000 people – including more than 10,000 Syrians – had arrived in Italy by sea this year.

Although there are not yet official figures, the weekend’s arrivals would appear to indicate that, in the first half of this year, as many migrants andrefugees have arrived in Italy by sea as came in the whole of 2011, which had held the record for the number of arrivals.

Local authorities in Sicily remain broadly supportive of Mare Nostrum, but are pleading for more resources. As the Grecale headed towards Pozzallo, the town’s mayor, Luigi Ammatuna, was quoted as saying the latest tragedy was “an emergency that we cannot tackle alone”.

He reportedly raised the alarm over how the bodies would be treated once on land, owing to a lack of spaces in Pozzallo’s morgue, already taken up by two migrants awaiting burial.

The navy said on Monday that, as well as the Grecale, the Chimera, a navy corvette, was due to dock in Pozzallo with 353 migrants on board.

The navy ship Orione and merchant ship Mare Atlantic were due to come into the port of Messina, in north-east Sicily, with 396 and 235 on board respectively.

The Dattilo, a coastguard vessel, was due to dock at the port of Augusta with 1,096 people on board, the navy added.

The Etna was carrying 1,044 migrants to Salerno on the Italian mainland and the San Giorgio was heading to the Puglian city of Taranto with 1,170 people on board.

Two merchant ships were taking 295 people to Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily. Porto Empedocle, on the south coast of the island, was due to receive 341 migrants and refugees being taken to safety by the coastguard.

Review overview
  • tsorona June 30, 2014

    condolences, when will all this horrific tragedy end. I wonder what we have done to deserve this?

  • simon July 2, 2014

    in pozallo one of the italianes port also the drowned eritreanes they are about 30 yongenes dead.

    this is a beag tragedey for our children .everyeritrean must now the bandit regime of ER> he dont
    interested of his own poeple. he is readey for dancing and singing on the bodoy of our be loved eritreanes in BOLOGNA. every ER.must demonstrated against the festival of BOLOGNA. de dictator of eritrea. even all eritreanes if they died in the sea of in other place he dont intersted.

    • m July 3, 2014

      isaias he dont care about Eritrean pepole if they die or suffering, becuase he is not Eritren

  • hmmm July 2, 2014

    I don’t feel sorry for those who don’t value their life. These folks (or their families in the west arranging the payment for them)knew what they were getting in to, but chose to surrender their life to the smugglers who are known to be savage and killers. How can one expect to survive such long trip on a crowded small fishing boat? it is a suicide mission. If they were willing to take such blind risk, why not organize themselves in small group and remove Isayas from power, Ali Hajay have shown us how easy it was, he just failed because he wasn’t decisive in his action. He tried to talk first, that would never work with Isayas. Shoot him first and then talk.

    • m July 3, 2014

      you are right bro, but we are cowerdes and selfish pepole

  • Senay July 2, 2014

    Eritrea where are all those Hero children of you are this days. Essayas the dictator today is fooling around the Eritrean people but no one is good enough to shoot him on his head. He will be going soon from his drinkings problem as well to the HIV that he will eventually die. I wish that bastard Hagos Kisha can do history by pulling the trigger to kill him. If not he will eventually end up in Jail like his commrades or get killed underneath a basement like Gaddaffi.

  • Paradiso July 2, 2014

    Five traffickers in handcuffs for the massacre of Lampedusa on October 3

    ALESSANDRA ZINITI July 1, 2014�

    [Palermo]Five traffickers in handcuffs for the massacre of Lampedusa on October 3� Investigation of the DDA in Palermo and the Police: dismantled network who ran a human trafficking: the migrants often victims of rapes and segregation. Nine firm orders for two escaped because abroad. Thousands of wiretaps: “Dead so because he wanted to Allah.” Meanwhile, police have arrested two suspected smugglers on board the ship with thirty corpses. Covered by the alarm smallpox was only chickenpox�

    ALESSANDRA ZINITI July 1, 2014� PALERMO – That day, in a hell of fire and water, they died one step away from Lampedusa, the dream destination and never reached. It was October 3, 2013, and the balance of the tragedy makes one shudder: 366 victims (photo). Today, nine months later, we see the first culprits of the massacre: police arrested five people – four more are unachievable, abroad – and issued warrants against 5 other organization responsible for human traffickers, including the other, of that trip.� The survey was coordinated by the District Anti-Mafia Directorate of Palermo and arrests – Glauco operation – were executed at dawn by police officers of the SCO and mobile teams of Palermo and Agrigento. The five arrested are: Tesfahiweit Woldu born in Eritrea, 24 years old and lives in Agrigento, Weldemicael Samuel, born in Segheneyti (Eritrea), 26 years old and lives in Agrigento, Mohammed Salih was born in Eritrea 24 years, resident in Agrigento, Matywos Melles born in Asmara (Eritrea), 47 years old and lives in Agrigento, Nuredin Wehabrebi Atta, born in Asmara (Eritrea), 30 years old and lives in Agrigento. Are still sought Afwerke Yared, born in Eritrea, 24 years old and lives in Agrigento, Shamshedin Abkadt, born in Wukro (Eritrea), 29 years old and lives in Milan, Ermies Ghermaye alias Ermiasnato Ghermay, born in Ethiopia and is domiciled in Tripoli (Libya) John Maharay, born and residing in Sudan in Khartoum (Sudan).� The charges relate to – for various reasons – the crimes of conspiracy and aiding and abetting illegal immigration and residence, aggravated by the transnational character. They have identified the two leaders of the organization, a Sudanese and a Libyan accused of having run the turnover related to illegal immigration, organizing trips: the first from Sudan to Libya, and the second – in close telephone contact with the first from the North African coast to the Italian ones – with the crossing of the Strait of Sicily.� The investigation started after the massacre of Lampedusa, have allowed us to reconstruct the routes and milestones, often characterized by mass rapes and segregation, that and many other terrible journeys made by hundreds of immigrants, pushed and exploited during their wanderings, by the members of a dangerous international network, composed of Eritrean, Ethiopian and Sudanese, whose main representatives are also recipients of the restrictive measure.� Investigators have occurred as the recruitment and transportation of masses of people in Italy could count on a bank in various Italian cities, where they were active “cells” of Eritreans, capable of encouraging people to stay in our country of immigrants and view of the continuation of their journey to other countries in Northern Europe but also in North America.� Meanwhile, sprouting wiretaps: chilling: “Inshallah! So he wanted to Allah”, without any recrimination for the dead. There are more than thirty thousand intercepted conversations after the wreck. Difficult the task of the investigators of the mobile team of Palermo and Agrigento, with the help of interpreters, they tried to extricate themselves in thousands of conversations in Arabic between the components of the organization.� The investigation of the tragic sinking of the investigators did discover” continuous physical violence and torture that have been repeated many migrants, as well as the repeated rapes, including group, which underwent several women.” For some of the subjects stopped the traffic in human beings was a real job. One of them said he did not want to cut leave Sicily because “America is here for me.” To say it was the prosecutor of Palermo, Maurizio Scalia, explaining the details of the transaction.� Prosecutors have calculated that each barge load as those sunk in front of Lampedusa, the first 3 and then on October 11 traffickers earned one million euro. The organization of Libyan, Sudanese and Eritrean identified, according to the prosecutor’s. “The traffickers – reads the decree of detention – showed no concern for the outcome of the victims of their traffic which, unfortunately, in many, too many cases, it was the death of hundreds of them along the crossing of the desert , attacked by marauders or bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. ” Meanwhile, this morning arrived in the port of Catania, the Orion Navy ship carrying 396 migrants rescued from the Libyan coast and Lampedusa. Among the refugees, so-called Syrians, Pakistanis and Nigerians, there are men women and children. The quay is everything ready for the reception. Yesterday, one of the foreigners had been taken from a helicopter and transferred to the hospital Spallanzani in Rome for an infectious disease. It was suspected to be smallpox, but the analysis showed that it was a simple chicken pox. So the Navy has given the green light to the arrival of the ship.� This morning, the police have identified the two likely smugglers of the vessel rescued by the ship Grecale carrying thirty corpses found yesterday. Meanwhile, has just arrived in the harbor in the fishing port of Pozzallo with the bodies. On the ship of the Navy there are 566 migrants. Some survivors, already interrogated aboard recounted: “We were too many, without food, water, and who was in the hold near the engine could not breathe.” Migrants heard tell of the violence in Libya, especially in regard to humanity-central Africa. ” It ‘was all their fault, they put us in there like animals and we could not even go out because it was above all full, we could not move,” he accused one of the refugees. “We asked to go back because we were too much and risked but there was nothing to do, they said now you are here and we have to get to Italy,” said another of the survivors.

    (Software translation)

  • ke Gorebet July 2, 2014

    betam yasazinal! ertrawuya yemiasfeligachuh xelot new. Pray to God. thank you

  • Haqi Tezareb July 3, 2014

    hmmm writes, “If they were willing to take such blind risk, why not organize themselves in small group and remove Isayas from power,”

    Why would they die for a country that they knew is dead for good? The young Warsay generation has seen and lived in the so called Free Eritrea; they voted with their feet that Eritrea is not worth dying, therefore they are abandoning it.

    If you think people who burn their own languages to promote alien Arab language and culture or people who value Italian Fascist legacy as the most important pride of their history, surpassing the rich history of their ancestors, then Eritrea is not worthy of anything. Just ask any Warsay generation who is running away.

    Why would the Warsay generation die for people like you? If you believe in Eritrea, then go to Eritrea and remove Issaias with people of your likes. Isn’t it enough that you used and abused Kebesa peasants at your whims in your futile Ghedli?

    The Warsay generation knows well: ዘይኩርምትኻ ሑጻ ቖርጥመሉ ።

  • hmmm July 3, 2014

    Haqi Tezareb: You are all over the place man. Get it together. I got it they chose flight over fight, I respect the choice. But that was the mentality that got them abused in Eritrea in the first place. And sadly that is what got them killed too. Did you hear they were raped, beaten and abused on the boat? there were maybe 10 smugglers on a boat but full of Eritreans and they didn’t try to stand up and defend themselves as they were robbed, beaten and abused and starved to death? what a miserable life? even a deer one of the easily scared animal will fight back and try to wiggle out of the jaws of the wild animal. But the Eritreans of today lie quietly and die peacefully.

  • sened11 July 27, 2014

    Haki tezareb I think you have misunderstood mr. Hmmm , he didnt say the warsays should fight to liberate eritrea for the advantage of those opposition groups in diaspora but for their own advantage. The gedli genaration , the fathers and older brothers of the warsays have defeated an ethiopian tyrant and replaced it with much worse eritrean dictator regiem that has enslaved the whole population. the warsays are the most hutrt victims of the regieme. So if the warsays flee eritrea and die in the deserts and in the meditera/nian sea there will be no end to this tragedy as long as the iasayas regiem is in power. You seem to care for the warsays but your comment contradicts with your idea. The warsays are cought between the devil and the deep dark blue sea. Harebna min almot we weselna hadremot….kab mot hadimna nab hadremot / a sand desert in beetween yemen and saudi/.