A Ghanian and a Sudanese national allegedly ran amok aboard an Italian commercial ship that rescued 67 migrants and was then refused permission to dock at an Italian port, sources at the interior ministry said on Tuesday.
Twelve Sudanese, 23 Pakistanis, 7 Palestinians, 10 Libyans, four Algerians, four Moroccans, two Egyptians, a Bangladeshi, a Ghanaian, a Chadian, a Nepalese and a Yemeni were among the migrants rescued by the Vos Thalassa, according to the sources.
The migrants were transferred to an Italian coastguard vessel after Italy's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, refused late on Monday to allow the privately owned Vos Thalassa to dock. It was the first time an Italian ship was turned away from an Italian port due to the government's hardline migration policy.
The Vos Thalassa responded to a distress call from a boat adrift off the Libyan coast and picked up the migrants after arriving on the scene before the Libyan coastguard.
The migrants will be disembarked from the coastguard's Diciotti vessel at an Italian port and questioned, transport ministry sources said.
In a tweet earlier on Tuesday, Italy's transport minister Danilo Toninelli accused the migrants of "endangering the life of the Italian ship Vos Thalassa's crew" and vowed "investigations to punish the troublemakers".
The migrant "troublemakers" reportedly feared being taken back to Africa and threatened Vos Thalassa crew members after it failed to dock at an Italian port.
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