Italy arrests ten people smugglers over 52 deaths

Published August 28th, 2015 - 05:55 GMT

Italian authorities said Friday they have arrested ten people smugglers in connection with the deaths of 52 asylum seekers, AFP reported.

The deaths by asphyxiation happened when the people were forced to stay in the hold of a boat carrying 500 and trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. The survivors were taken to Palermo, Sicily.

"The victims were all violently forced to stay below deck in an awful condition." Palermo prosecutor Maurizio Scalia said at a press conference. 

The suspected smugglers are seven Moroccans, two Syrians and one Libyan, according to AFP. The arrests were made after statements were taken from survivors rescued from the same boat. 

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