The missing individuals are among the 144 migrants who were recently allowed into Italy after being stranded for days on the Diciotti coastguard ship.

They arrived on the ship on the night of August 15 and were left at sea for 10 days as Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini refused to allow the vessel to dock in an Italian port.

Salvini, head of the far-right League party, finally gave in after Ireland, Albania and the Italian Catholic church agreed to take most of the migrants in.

Most of those aboard the Diciotti were Eritreans, along with a handful of Somalians, Syrians, Sudanese and Comorans.

Salvini slammed the migrants for their decision to leave the accommodation offered to them.

 “[They] were so in need of protection, a roof and a blanket that they decided to leave and disappear,” he wrote on Facebook.

“This is the umpteenth confirmation that those who arrive in Italy are not skeletons fleeing war and famine.”