Former Libyan rebels attacked the interim government's headquarters in Tripoli on Tuesday, killing at least two people and wounding several others, an interior ministry official said.
"Between two to four guards were killed and many others are wounded," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Former rebels angry over unpaid stipends opened fire on the headquarters of the interim government after surrounding the building, officials said.
"Many men encircled the building and opened fire against it with weapons including anti-aircraft cannons," a government employee said.
"Some men entered the premises and fired from inside," he said, adding that chaotic scenes unfolded as people scrambled for cover.
Several trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns surrounded the building in central Tripoli, blocking traffic, witnesses said.
Residents in the area reported hearing heavy exchanges of gunfire.
Others reported military vehicles traveling down the airport road towards the city centre where the headquarters are.
Last month, citing widespread fraud, Libyan authorities paused the payment of cash bonuses to rebels who had fought against Moamer Kadhafi's regime in 2011.
Ex-fighters reacted negatively to the decision.
On April 10, they opened fire against the government complex in a smaller attack that authorities brushed off as a "scare tactic."
Security in the building has since then been beefed up with armed guards stationed all around the complex which holds the offices of Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib.
Analysts and rights group have repeatedly warned that the interim government must disarm militias who pose one of the biggest challenges to the North African nation's transition to democracy.
Kib's cabinet has come under attack in recent weeks over its failure to take tough decisions such as stripping former rebels from their prized weapons.
Libya's nascent armed forces and the interior ministry have sought to incorporate anti-Kadhafi fighters into their ranks but rogue elements continue to defy the new authorities.
Seventy thousand ex-fighters are now under interior ministry command, a Libyan official said on April 24.
They will "help the ministry fight against crime, protect strategic sites, embassies and diplomatic missions," said Omar al-Khadrawi, deputy interior minister.
Tuesday's violence came as Libyans across the country registered to vote in the first national poll in more than four decades. Libyans are expected to vote for a constituent assembly in June.
Source: AFP Global Edition