Italian prosecutors Tuesday said it has begun an in-depth investigation into the death of the 26 teenage Nigerian girls who died in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Italy on Sunday.
The deceased girls said to be between the ages of 14 and 18, were found dead in the sea while attempting the dangerous journey of crossing from Libya to Europe.
The bodies of the 26 female Nigerian migrants were found by Spanish warship Cantabria, who brought the corpses to Salerno, Italy, after they were purportedly sexually abused and murdered.
According to agency report, the investigation by the Italian prosecutors would also probe whether their deaths are linked to sex trafficking.
In his report, Salvatore Malfi, the police prefect of the southern town of Salerno, had said the 26 women might have been thrown off their rubber dinghy into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Although the official cause of death appeared to be by drowning, the prosecutors said they will also probe if it can be linked with sex trafficking.