Smoke rises from the site of the headquarters of Libya's foreign ministry after suicide attackers hit in Tripoli, Libya Dec. 25, 2018.
Smoke rises from the site of the headquarters of Libya's foreign ministry after suicide attackers hit in Tripoli, Libya Dec. 25, 2018.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing Tuesday at the Libyan Foreign Ministry that killed three people.

An IS statement said "soldiers of the caliphate" stormed the office of what it called an "apostate government." 

There was no independent confirmation of its claim, and IS frequently makes such claims to keep itself in the spotlight.

Security officials in Libya said Tuesday's attack involved a suicide bomber and left plumes of smoke rising from the area.

Libyan Foreign Ministry, Tripoli

Libya has been in political and social turmoil since longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled and killed in 2011. 

Rival governments — a U.N.-backed government in Tripoli and one led by an anti-Islamist general — are jockeying for power, along with a number of militias.

The United Nations has worked with various parties in Libya on a reconciliation process with a goal of establishing a unified government, ensuring security and rule of law, and fairly distributing natural resources.

In addition, U.N. officials have warned that the lawlessness in Libya provides fertile ground for atrocities and illicit activities.  They say widespread impunity in the country makes migrants and refugees vulnerable for exploitation and extortion by human traffickers and criminal smuggling networks.