Two killed in suspected Islamic State suicide bombing of Libya oil company headquarters

At least two people were killed when suspected Islamic State suicide bombers attacked the headquarters of Libya’s state oil company. 

Several gunmen entered the offices of the Libyan National Oil company in Tripoli and opened fire on staff and security guards on Monday, the country’s UN-backed government said.

At least one large explosion rocked the facility during the attack, starting a fire that spread through the office block in central Tripoli.

The attackers were killed by security guards and government security forces who stormed the building. 

"The building was heavily damaged due to the fire. Smoke is everywhere," Mustafa  Sanallah, the head of the Libyan National Oil Company, told a local television channel.   

"The gunmen attacked the lower floors with random shooting and explosions. It’s a very violent attack." 

He said a number of people had been killed by did not give further details. 

The country’s health ministry said two people were killed and 10 wounded. 

Ahmed Ben Salem, a spokesman for the Deterrence Force, a militia that operates as Tripoli’s police force, said the remains of two "suicide bombers" were found inside the building.

Earlier officials said six gunmen were involved in the attack. 

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) described the incident as a "cowardly terrorist attack",

The Tripoli-based government said in a statement that security forces had "efficiently" dealt with the incident, "saving all employees and killing the terrorists."  

It accused the attackers, who have yet to be identified, of exploiting recent in-fighting between government-aligned militia groups to infiltrate the capital. 

At least 61 people were killed in clashes between Tripoli-based militia groups and the  7th Brigade, a militia based in the town of  Tahouna south of Tripoli, that broke out late last month. A ceasefire has been in place since last week.