TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya's prime minister, who was recently approved in a contested parliamentary vote, was unharmed in an attack on his home that set off a gunbattle with guards early Tuesday, a government official said.
The official said four attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at the house of Ahmed Maiteg, sparking clashes with security guards. One of the assailants was killed and another was arrested while the rest fled, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.
Maiteg was named premier in a vote deemed illegitimate by non-Islamist lawmakers.
The appointment escalated a political crisis pitting Islamist lawmakers and militias against forces loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who has launched an armed campaign to try to restore order three years after the revolt that toppled and killed Moammar Gadhafi.
Thousands of Libyans have held demonstrations in recent days demanding the elected assembly halt sessions and accusing it of financing Islamist militias and acting as their political wing.
Islamists have condemned the offensive launched earlier this month as a "coup," while several prominent government officials, diplomats and military units have rallied to Hifter's cause, hoping he can bring stability to the petroleum-rich North African country.
Many of the heavily armed rebel brigades that defeated Gadhafi's forces three years ago have since been transformed into militias that refuse to disarm or join the national security forces. They have been blamed for a string of kidnappings and assassinations of diplomats, government officials, activists, judges, and members of police and army.
Last year Islamist militiamen abducted then prime minister Ali Zidan in a dramatic illustration of the challenges faced by the weak central government. He was released unharmed several hours later when other militias intervened.