Gunmen killed Libya's Deputy Industry Minister Hassan al-Drowi late yesterday evening as he was visiting shops in the coastal city of Sirte, official sources said.

"Unknown people shot him dead while he was coming out of one of the shops in the city," a member of Libya's General National Congress, or parliament, said.

A security source said Mr Drowi had been assassinated.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but two years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya is struggling with militias and former rebel fighters who often use force to impose demands on the fragile central government.

Sirte is about 460km east of the coastal capital of Tripoli, and was the last bastion of those loyal to former leader Muammar Gaddafi in the civil war.

Gaddafi was killed there on 20 October, 2011.