The remains of 26 Nigerian women believed to be migrants have been recovered from a Spanish warship in the Italian coast city of Salerno .
A report by the British Broadcasting Corporation on Monday said a Spanish warship , Cantabria , which docked in the city , was found to be carrying 375 rescued migrants and the dead women .
According to the report , 23 of the dead women were on a rubber boat with 64 other people .
It also quoted Italian media report that the women ’ s bodies were kept in a refrigerated section of the warship . Most of them were between the ages of 14 and 18 .
UNHCR spokesman , Marco Rotunno , said the 26 dead were involved in a shipwreck off Libya .
Most of the 375 survivors brought to Salerno were sub – Saharan Africans from Nigeria , Senegal , Ghana , The Gambia and Sudan , the daily La Repubblica reports .
Among them were 90 women – eight of them pregnant – and 52 children . There were also some Libyan men and women on board.
The BBC said , “ People- smuggling gangs charge each migrant about $ 6 , 000 ( £ 4 , 578 ) to get to Italy , $ 4 , 000 of which is for the trans – Saharan journey to Libya , according to the Italian aid group L ’ Abbraccio. Many migrants have reported violence , including torture and sexual abuse by the gangs .
“ Italian prosecutors are investigating the deaths of 26 Nigerian women – most of them teenagers – whose bodies were recovered at sea .
“ There are suspicions that they may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean. Five migrants are being questioned in the southern port of Salerno . ”