Updated at 10.20am

More than 200 migrants were rescued by Armed Forces of Malta officials late on Friday in two separate rescue missions.

The 216 rescued people were saved as they were crossing the Mediterranean on dinghies. At least one pregnant woman and a number of minors are believed to be among them.

An AFM spokesperson said early on Saturday that the migrants had been rescued in two separate missions within Malta’s search and rescue area.

In an official statement, the AFM said that around 12 migrant boats had disembarked on Sicily's southern coast, Sardinia and Lampedusa over the past two days, as migrants hoping to cross to Europe took advantage of good weather.

The AFM rescue crew had headed out to sea to respond to a distress call and rescued an initial group of migrants and was heading back to Malta when a second call came in, prompting a change of plan and second rescue.

The rescued men, women and children reached Malta at around 8.15am. 

Following disembarkation, they were examined by a doctor and entrusted to the police force's immigration unit.  They will have their paperwork processed and be given the opportunity to apply for asylum, in accordance with their rights under international law. 

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