During a recent crossing from Libya, Muslim migrants threw 12 Christians overboard.
Muslim migrants throw Christian passengers overboard on the Mediterranean
During the crossing, the migrants from Nigeria and Ghana, who they believed to be Christians, were threatened with being abandoned at sea.
Italian police said they have detained 15 people suspected in the high seas assault.
The police said they got useful information while interviewing tearful survivors from Nigeria and Ghana. They also said the 15 suspects will be arrested for multiple homicide aggravated by religious hatred.
Some surviving Christian passengers onboard the vessel, who spoke under anonymity narrated their ordeal, saying that during the crossing, the migrants from Nigeria and Ghana, who they believed to be Christians, were threatened with being abandoned at sea by some 15 other passengers from the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea Bissau.
Eventually the threat was carried out and 12 were pushed overboard. They said the motive was that the victims "professed the Christian faith while the aggressors were Muslim."
The surviving Christians, said they only managed to stay on board by forming a "human chain" to resist the assault.
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