The 335 migrants arrived in Sicily, on Wednesday after a week at sea. They had left port near Alexandria, Egypt, according to Save the Children. Agency spokeswoman Giovanna di Benedetto said the parents reported that as soon as the family of eight boarded, the traffickers threw the backpack containing the insulin overboard. She died during the trip. The ANSA news agency said three Egyptians were arrested on suspicion of aiding illegal immigration, though not with homicide, since the smugglers who threw the insulin overboard were purportedly the trip organisers in Egypt.
Premier Matteo Renzi mentioned the girls’ death in a speech on Saturday to calm mounting tensions in Italy over resettling would-be refugees, whose numbers have taxed Italy’s overcrowded refugee centres.
Police in Rome scuffled with residents this week who were protesting the transfer of a few dozen migrants to their neighborhood, while in Treviso, residents set fire to mattresses of a condo where 100 migrants were to be put up temporarily. The would-be refugees were subsequently transferred.