Italian police have said they are investigating a recent incident in which Muslim migrants threw Christian migrants overboard in the Mediterranean Sea while their ship was en route to Italy from Libya.
The incident reportedly took place on April 14 on a rubber boat carrying 105 passengers as it departed the Libyan coast for Italy.
Christian survivors of the incident recently told Palermo police that they were targeted by Muslim passengers of the ship who were from the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea Bissau. The Muslim passengers reportedly threw 12 Christians from Nigeria and Ghana overboard while the ship was out at sea.
Those Christians who managed to avoid being thrown overboard were then able to tell Italian police of the incident once the migrant boat docked in Palermo, and police have indicated that they have arrested 15 suspects connected to the alleged religiously-motivated drowning.
According to CNN, those Christians who survived the attack did so "because they strongly opposed the drowning attempt and formed a human chain," Palermo police told the media outlet.
The Associated Press reports that Italian police have confirmed that those who were attacked "professed the Christian faith while the aggressors were Muslim."
According to BBC, the 15 suspects arrested in Palermo in connection with the drowning have been charged with "multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate."
In recent months there has been a massive migration of immigrants from Libya to Italy, and the European Union has been scrambling to accommodate the thousands of migrants entering Italy each month.
This week, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said the European country had "not had an adequate response from the EU" regarding the massive influx of immigrants.