Several Syrians have been injured in a stabbing attack after their vehicle was targeted by a group of unknown assailants in eastern Beirut, police officials say.

Reports on the number of those wounded in the attack varied, with the AFP news agency saying that 20 had been hurt while the Reuters news agency said only five had been injured.

"Three cars with tinted windows intercepted a minibus carrying 25 Syrians in the Jisr al-Wati neighbourhood. Eight men attacked the passengers with knives," a police source told AFP on Wednesday.

Police surrounded the site of the incident, and an AFP photographer at the scene saw blood on the seats of the minibus and on discarded t-shirts inside the vehicle and on the street.

The National News Agency said the group was headed to a studio to record Syrian folklore music.

The incident comes as the conflict in neighbouring Syria raises tensions in Lebanon, with the violence regularly spilling over the border.

The Syrian conflict has also raised sectarian tensions between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Lebanon, based on sectarian divides in the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Source: Agencies