Two Syrian army tanks crossed the border into eastern Lebanon on Tuesday, reportedly as part of a search for activists or army defectors who have fled the country.

Some 5,000 Syrians, among them army defectors, have sought refuge in northern and eastern Lebanon since the start of the government crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Syria.

"The two tanks crossed the Lebanese territories in the east and shelled the battery factory which is located at the outskirts of the Lebanese border with Syria," Lebanon's LBC satellite channel reported.

The Al Nashra website, quoting informed sources, meanwhile reported that the tanks had targeted a deserted farm in Arsal, located in the arid valley along the border.

An estimated 2,700 people have been killed since the uprising started in Syria in mid-March, according to the United Nations.