BY CHUKS NNOCHIRI in Abuja•
Nigerian government on Wednesday confirmed the death of 26 Nigerians that lost their lives under yet to be explained circumstances in the Mediterranean Sea.
The confirmation was contained in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, describing the loss as monumental to the nation.
The ministry, in the statement signed by its Spokesperson, Dr Tope Elias-Fatile, extended their condolences to the families of the deceased.
“Further to this, we have received a reliable report from our Mission in Rome that the dead bodies of Twenty-Six (26) suspected Nigerians all of whom were female between the ages of fourteen and eighteen were discovered on Sunday 5th November, 2017 in the Mediterranean Sea.
“The report indicates that a Spanish Warship, Cantabria, brought the remains of the migrants to Southern Italian Port of Salerno.
“The Italian security officials who made this discovery are yet to confirm if they were purposely killed and why all who died were female.
“The statement however stated that the Italian Police Chief in Salerno who noted that the victims may have drown, has launched an investigation into the cause of their death to ascertain if they were either tortured or sexually assaulted.
“Indeed, this is a monumental loss and a sad moment to our country. As more investigations are being conducted on the unfortunate incident, the Federal Government wishes to commiserate with the family members of the victims”, the statement emphasised.