Security officials in Lebanon say that one person has been killed and five wounded in fighting between supporters of rival Druze politicians. The clashes were between supporters of the pro-Syrian former minister, Wiam Wahhab, and the anti-Syrian politician, Walid Jumblatt.

They broke out during a dispute over the display of political posters in the town of Jahliye, south of Beirut. The security forces moved in to stop the fighting. It was not clear which side began the shooting, but acting Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said all the casualties appeared to be supporters of Mr Jumblatt.

Tensions, This is not the first clash between the two groups. In April, Mr Wahhab’s bodyguards shot and wounded two civilians who objected to his presence at a funeral in a Druze mountain village. Tensions between supporters and opponents of Syria’s influence in Lebanon have increased since the assassination of the former Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri, in February 2005.

Many Lebanese blame Syria for Mr Hariri’s death and an on-going United Nations investigation has said the killing could not have taken place without the knowledge of high-ranking Syrian officials.

Syria has denied any involvement. The assassination of Hariri precipitated the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon in April 2005, after a 29-year presence, under heavy domestic and international pressure