A teenage migrant trying to get from Libya to Europe was shot dead by ruthless human traffickers who wanted his baseball cap.
The young Gambian man was killed on the beach by smugglers. His body was carried on board a ship that rescued 560 migrants from unsafe boats off the coast of Libya.
Another teenage boy was shot in the stomach, but is being cared for by doctors and is said to be in a stable condition.
The body of the young Gambian man, who was killed on the beach by smugglers, was carried on-board a ship that rescued 560 migrants from unsafe boats off the coast of Libya.
The victim’s body was carried of the rescue ship by coroners in a container.
The migrants were travelling on board two large rubber boats and five small wooden ones when they were rescued, Italy’s Coast Guard said.
Italian Navy and Coast Guard boats participated in the rescues together with two humanitarian vessels, a spokesman said.
‘According to eyewitnesses, the deceased teenager was killed by human traffickers because they wanted his baseball hat. What cruelty,’ MOAS co-founder Chris Catrambone said.
The migrants were travelling on board two large rubber boats and five small wooden ones when they were rescued, Italy’s Coast Guard said
‘The medical team on-board the Phoenix has confirmed that the deceased teenager died from gunshot wound,’ he added.
MOAS doctors are also caring for another teenage boy who has a gunshot wound to the stomach, but is stable.
German non-governmental organisation (NGO) Jugend Rettet also helped with the rescues.
Separately, Doctors Without Borders said its rescue ship Prudence would arrive in the Sicilian port of Catania early on Friday with the corpses of six migrants, including five women, who it had picked up in the Mediterranean in recent days.
It emerged that a second teenage boy was shot in the stomach, but is being cared for by doctors and is said to be in a stable condition.
There had been a pause of boat departures from Libya, where smugglers operate with impunity, since Easter, because of bad weather and sea conditions.
But boat migrant arrivals in Italy are still up 30 per cent so far this year from 2016, when a record 181,000 arrived.
Humanitarian rescue ships have come in for criticism in Italy in recent months, with Catania chief prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro opening a fact-finding investigation into possible ties between NGOs and people-smugglers.
The NGOs have strongly denied the accusations, including representatives from MOAS who testified in Italy’s parliament earlier on Thursday. They say their only mission is to save lives.
Zuccaro has yet to present any evidence of illicit activities and has not opened a criminal investigation.
Source: Daily Mail