Italy slams 'death merchants' after 31 migrants drown
ROME, Latium (AFP) - Italian Interior Minister Angelo Alfano called for human traffickers who shuttle migrants across the sea to Italy to be stopped on Sunday, after 31 boat people drowned during an attempted crossing.
The victims, including nine women, drowned off the coast of Libya during an attempted crossing to according to survivors who managed to complete the journey.
"The traffic of human beings must end. We need to stop the merchants of death," Mr Alfano said. A dinghy carrying 53 migrants capsized on Friday evening, and witnesses said 31 of those who had been thrown off it drowned in the accident.
The twenty-two survivors, who come from Nigeria, Gambia, Benin and Senegal, said the dinghy had capsized after three days at sea. They were rescued by a passing merchant ship and taken to Lampedusa island, Italian media reports said.