The Italian coastguard has said it had coordinated the rescue of more than 2,150 migrants as they sailed across the Mediterranean on rickety boats, bringing the number of people rescued this weekend to 5,800.

The bodies of eight migrants were found on board two of the rescued vessels.

Two other people drowned after they jumped into the sea to rush towards the rescue teams, the coastguard said.

All of those rescued were being brought back to Italian shores, a spokesman for the coast guard said, and some reached Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost island, during the night.

The nationalities of those rescued has not yet been determined, he said.

The European Union last month said it would triple the funding of its search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean.

The move is to help cope with an upsurge in migrants trying to reach Europe.

An emergency EU summit was held to discuss the issue after a disaster that saw as many as 900 migrants drown off the coast of Libya.

Elsewhere, Libya's coastguard has said that they have intercepted five boats carrying around 500 illegal migrants who were trying to reach Europe.

Colonel Reda Issa told AFP that most of the migrants were Africans who had set off from an unspecified location.

The boats were intercepted eight nautical miles off the coast and ordered to head for the city of Misrata east of the capital Tripoli, the officer said.

Colonel Issa did not say what would happen to the migrants, but Libya has a detention centre for migrants in Misrata.

Several hundred migrants, mostly Africans but also including many fleeing the civil war in Syria, leave Libya every day on rickety boats hoping to make it to Europe.