Smoke rises from the site of the headquarters of Libya's foreign ministry after suicide attackers hit in Tripoli Image Credit: Reuters

Tripoli - At least three people were killed when suicide bombers attacked Libya's foreign ministry in Tripoli on Tuesday, the health ministry said. The assailants were suspected to be Daesh militants, a security source said.

The three attackers began their assault with a car bomb, damaging vehicles and buildings, and then opened fire on the ministry. Two managed to get inside and blow themselves up. The other was killed by ministry guards, the source said.

At least 11 others were wounded, Health Ministry spokesman Amin Al Hashimy said on state-run television Al Rasmiya.

The blast set off a fire inside the building, and black smoke could be seen billowing from its windows, footage from state television showed. The pavement outside was scattered with glass and debris, and nearby cars were on fire.

The ministry denounced the attack on its employees, saying: "the Libyan people are waging a war on terrorism on behalf of the world."

Suicide bombers have targeted a number of Libya's vital institutions as militant groups take advantage of the chaotic political situation.

A source from Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, one of the strongest armed groups in the capital, told Reuters their spokesman, Abdulrahman Mazoughi, died in the attack.

Officials have been largely powerless to halt the violence as rival governments vie for power in a political tug-of-war that has stunted attempts to stabilize and rebuild the nation that sits atop Africa's largest proven reserves of crude.

Daesh had been forced to withdraw from the towns and cities it held in Libya to regroup in the south. But in a reflection of its resilience in the largely lawless nation, it has conducted a series of attacks including an assault on the Libyan National Oil Corporation headquarters in Tripoli in September.