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13/06/2024 04:00:00

Funeral ceremony held in Sicily for deceased migrants

 A Catholic and Islamic ceremony attended by the local prefect, police chief and mayor was held in Sicily on Sunday (June 9) for migrants who died in recent days trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

A joint Catholic and Islamic ceremony was held at Sicily's Porto Empedocle on Sunday (June 9) for 12 dead migrants retrieved by two NGO ships.

Agrigento's prefect, Filippo Romano, and police chief, Tommaso Palumbo, attended the service, along with the mayor of Porto Empedocle, Calogero Martello.

Although most of the corpses were transferred to Sicily from Lampedusa, where they first arrived, the body of a five-month-old baby girl who died of malnutrition remained at the Cala Pisana cemetery on Lampedusa.

The Guinean child was found dead by workers aboard the Humanity 1 vessel, run by German NGO SOS Humanity, that rescued the boat she was traveling upon on May 29.

Others mourned at the ceremony include 11 migrants found dead in waters off Libya on June 7. The corpses were retrieved by Doctors without Borders' rescue ship Geo Barents.

One day later, SOS Méditerranée's vessel Ocean Viking also reported on social media that its staff had "retrieved a body" in the same area.