Human Traffickers Charged with Deaths
Five North African men are facing multiple homicide and human trafficking charges in Italy following the drowning of more than 200 migrants on August 5. Most of those killed were children. Authorities have accused the traffickers of killing migrants with clubs and knives. The victims were found in a capsized off the Libyan coast.
Officials say the fishing boat began taking on water about three hours into its voyage. The traffickers ordered the migrants to bail the water from the vessel, but many of them could not and they were beaten with the clubs, knives and belts. Authorities are not sure of how many of the victims died from the beatings.
According to Italian authorities, the traffickers charged the migrants up to $1,800 to board the vessel, which had about 650 people onboard. Ships in the area including naval and commercial vessels help rescue more than 400 migrants.
The UN refugee agency says more than 90,000 migrants have been sent to Italy in 2015.