Italian police have arrested 15 migrants for allegedly throwing others overboard following a shipwreck in the Mediterranean.
The Italian coast guard has said migrants have been arriving at an unprecedented rate since Friday, with 10,000 pulled from rickety vessels at sea and another 400 people drowned off Libya.
Police say the African Muslim migrants were held after witnesses said they had thrown 12 Christian passengers into the sea after a brawl on a boat heading to Italy.
One of the thousands of migrants rescued from the Mediterranean in recent days has told Sky News of his relief at finally reaching Europe after months of travel.
"It's like jumping from fire onto beautiful dry land," Ebrima Jaiteh said after landing in the Sicilian port of Trapani.
Mr Jaiteh, who said he plans to stay in Italy, learn the language and find work, said he was smiling for the first time in a year after completing the arduous journey
"The journey was hell," he said. "I have been travelling non-stop for months, through many dangerous countries.
"In Tripoli they treated us like animals. They beat us. They shouted at us. They took all our money.
"No human being should have to go through this. I thank God we made it. Many of my friends in different boats did not."
"I am alive. Right now, that is all that matters. Many thousands more like me will come. I know they will because I travelled with them to Libya, where they wait for calm seas."
A further 41 migrants are feared drowned in a separate Mediterranean shipwreck, based on survivor accounts.
Four migrants picked up by the Italian Navy said their inflatable vessel sank not long after leaving the coast of Libya for Europe with 45 people on board.
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