26 teenage girls have been found dead at sea

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The girls are aged between 14-18 

Italian authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of death of 26 teenage girls.

Two men have been arrested and charged in Italy as investigators look into the deaths of 26 Nigerian women and girls.

The bodies of the women were brought to the southern Italian port of Salerno by the Spanish ship on Sunday.

The investigations opened over suspicions that the women were abused and killed. 

The girls are aged between 14-18 and are believed to be migrants from Niger and Nigeria and embarked on a journey from Libya to Europe over the weekend. 

Lorena Ciccotti, police chief in the southern Italian port city of Salerno, told CNN that officials have launched an investigation into the girls' cause of the death to see if they had been tortured or sexually assaulted.

The bodies were recovered by Cantabria, which works as part of the EU’s Sophia anti-trafficking operation, from two separate shipwrecks – 23 from one and three from the other. Fifty-three people are believed to be missing.

Written By Christina Cavaleri

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