Police in the Sicilian port city of Catania on Thursday announced the arrest of two Libyans suspected of human trafficking, one of whom is also accused of conspiracy to murder.
Both suspects face charges of belonging to Libyan human trafficking gang. One of the suspects is also under investigation over the killing of a 21-year-old boat migrant from Sierra Leone last week who witnesses said was shot dead because he refused to give up his baseball cap.
The two suspects were held on Saturday when they arrived in Catania with 394 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean and the corpse of the slain migrant, according to police.
Migrants aboard the rescue ship included another with a gunshot wound and the elder brother of the dead man who allegedly witnessed the killing aboard the smugglers' boat as it headed for Italy.
Over 3,000 boat migrants came ashore in Italy at the weekend and more than 43,000 have arrived from North Africa this year, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday.
More than 1,300 people have perished trying to cross the Mediterranean this year, UNHCR said.