TRIPOLI, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Libyan coast guards rescued more than 200 illegal immigrants on two rubber boats off the coasts of the western cities of Sabratha and Zuwara, navy spokesman said.
"A coast guard patrol rescued 202 illegal immigrants aboard two rubber boats after their engines broke down," Libyan navy spokesman, Ayob Qassem, told Xinhua.
Qassem said the migrants were rescued in two separate operations, the first of which took place 29 miles north-east of Sabratha, where the coast guards rescued 92 migrants and took them to Tripoli naval base at 13:00 (11:00 GMT).
The second operation rescued 110 illegal immigrants 25 miles north of Zuwara. The immigrants were taken to the naval base at 16:25 (14:25 GMT).
"As soon as they arrived at the Tripoli naval base, the migrants were transferred to the anti-illegal immigration department in Tajura in eastern Tripoli," Qassem added.
Libya has become a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean into Europe, because of insecurity and chaos in the North African country following the 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Improved weather conditions have increased the flow of migrant boats from Libya towards Europe, particularly off the country's western coast.