Tripoli: Libyan security forces on Tuesday repelled armed demonstrators who had surrounded and stormed government headquarters in Tripoli, a senior official said, adding one person was killed in clashes. (Agencies)
"One person was killed in the confrontation," interim government spokesman Nasser al Manaa said, speaking from within the government complex just hours after the attack.
And "four people were wounded" in the clashes that broke out when government forces sought to clear the area and open access to the besieged building, he added.
That toll, Manaa said, comprised one of the assailants and three members of the Tripoli High Security Committee, who were asked to rescue the situation after dialogue failed.
Earlier, an interior ministry official said at least two guards died.
Manaa said only that two guards were "hit" without going into details.
The government spokesman told journalists that a group of demonstrators showed up at 1230 IST and that armed men soon joined their ranks.
By noon, the crowd had grown to 200 people, including gunmen from the western town of Yefren backed by some 50 trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers.
He said representatives aired grievances including the non-payment of cash stipends for former rebels who fought against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.
The interim government started evacuating personnel and called for backup after some gunmen forced their way into the building and opened fire, he said.
Earlier, a public official said former rebels opened fire against the establishment with anti-aircraft cannons.
"Some men entered the premises and fired from inside," he said, adding that chaotic scenes unfolded as people scrambled for cover.
Residents in the area reported hearing heavy exchanges of gunfire.
By 5:30 pm, local time, fresh security forces were posted at the back, front and side entrances of the glass government building, which had dozens of its windows shattered in the attack.
Ammunition shells littered the area and the tensions sparked by the incident managed to clear out the capital's normal sunset traffic jams, an agency report said.
It is not uncommon for demonstrators to carry arms when staging rallies in front of government buildings in the capital.
Tripoli: Libyan security forces on Tuesday repelled armed demonstrators who had surrounded and stormed government headquarters in Tripoli, a senior official said, adding one person was killed in clashes.