Two suicide bombers and other attackers attacked the offices of Libya's electoral commission in Tripoli Wednesday.
Four armed assailants attacked the building on Wednesday morning, a senior security official in Tripoli, Mohamad al-Damja, told AFP.
The attack comes as the United Nations has put pressure on Libya to hold elections by the end of the year.
Libyan officials said 12 were killed, including at least two of the commission's guards. They then set the building on fire and detonated the suicide vests they were wearing.
Since December the electoral commission has registered almost one million new voters across Libya, though no date has been set for polls.
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He added that security officers had entered the building to respond to the attack in the Ghout al-Shaal district west of central Tripoli. Daesh has claimed responsibility for the attack.
"After this attack, I think it is a huge, huge hit to the work of the commission and the institutions that have been cooperating" for the election in Libya, he said.
Sayah told reporters that the database of the commission, which has registered almost 1 million new voters across Libya, had not been damaged.
Libya, which is seeking to leave behind years of chaos since the 2011 ouster of dictator Moamer Kadhafi, has been hoping to hold elections this year.
Commenting on the incident, the internationally backed Government of National Accord (GNA) said that it was dealing with "the consequences of the cowardly suicide attack". It appears to have been an attempt to derail efforts to organise elections by the end of the year.