Italy has declared a day of mourning as it buries some twenty-six Nigerian women who perished in the Mediterranean sea.
The women were buried in a mass funeral
According to a report by The Local, a funeral Mass has been held today, Friday at Italy’s southern city of Salerno near Naples, for the 26 Nigerian girls who drowned earlier this month trying to cross the Mediterranean.
The Mass held in Italy's southern city of Salerno, with prayers said by a Catholic archbishop and a Muslim imam.
The Local reports that “Twenty-six coffins were laid out in Salerno's Monumental Cemetery on Friday morning, watched by a military guard, local politicians, rescue workers and journalists.
“Each coffin bore a white rose on top, though only two were marked with names: Marian Shaka and Osato Osaro.”
The Local also said the bodies will be buried in different cemeteries around Salerno.
Friday was also declared a day of mourning by the city's mayor as local schools have been asked to observe a minute of silence, while light displays in the city centre will be switched off on Friday evening in remembrance.
According to the report, “The girls' bodies were recovered at sea and brought to Italy on November 3. Post-mortem examinations revealed that 25 of the victims had drowned, while one had a wound to her side.”
It added that, “All of the girls are believed to have been Nigerian nationals between 14 and 30 years old. Five have been identified so far.
“Two of them were pregnant, including Osaro with twins. Her coffin bore a pink and a blue rose in their memory.
“At least 100 other people believed to have been travelling with the women are still missing, all feared drowned.
“A Spanish military ship rescued around 400 survivors, as well as the 26 bodies, in the Strait of Sicily in early November. They were attempting to make the crossing between Libya and Italy when the rubber boats carrying them capsized.”
The report did not mention that there was any Nigerian delegation present nor did photographs from the event reveal otherwise.