Three Libyans were killed in a town south east of Tripoli that has until now been unscathed by civil war violence, a local resident said on Thursday.
"There was a clash on Wednesday evening between people waiting in a queue outside a bakery. It was just before sunset, when people break the Ramadan fast," he said by phone from the town of Msalata, about 110 km (70 miles) from Libya's capital.
Police intervened and it turned into a protest against the authorities. The crowd clashed with police and some people went to the local government office and set it and a second building on fire, he said.
When police called in troops to help them regain control, three people were killed, he said. The town is now a closed area, with no one permitted to go in or out.
Government officials in Tripoli could not immediately be reached for comment, and the report from Msalata could not be independently verified.