The convoy of a Lebanese government minister has come under fire in the northern city of Tripoli, leaving four people wounded and a security patrol car riddled with bullets, medics and witnesses have said.

Faisal Karami, the minister of sports and youth, appeared to be unhurt, the medics said.

The four people injured were his boydguards, according to local media reports.

A Reuters reporter said one of the convoy's patrol cars was set ablaze.

In an interview with OTV, a local TV channel, in the aftermath of the attack, Karami said he felt he was not the target of the attack, but rather that "the unrest aims at targeting the country's security situation".

The port city of Tripoli has become increasingly volatile in recent months, due to the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Residents of Sunni-dominated Bab al Tabbaneh and Alawite-majority Jabal Mohsen have clashed frequently, heightening fears that the war is spilling over into Lebanon

Following the attack, the Lebanese army deployed around Karami's residence in an effort to enhance security.

The attack coincided with a weekly protest demanding the release of several Islamists detained in Lebanese prisons,

Tripoli has long been a stronghold of Sunni conservatives in northern Lebanon.

In 2007, Nahr el Bared, a Palestinian refugee camp located on the outskirts of the city, bore witness to a deadly conflict between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam, an armed religious group.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies