Lebanese security officials say masked gunmen have shot and killed a police intelligence officer and wounded his wife in an attack on the officer's car in a town near the Syrian border.

The officials say the officer, Zaher Izzedine, died instantly in Friday's attack while his wounded wife was taken to hospital. The couple's daughter was unharmed.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. They say that the motive for the shooting in the eastern border town of Arsal was not immediately clear.

Militants, including members of the Islamic State group and the al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria, known as the Nusra Front, are known to be active on the outskirts of Arsal.