Palestinian witnesses say gunmen have burst into a Gaza City mourning tent set up for Yasser Arafat, firing shots to protest a visit by a leading contender to succeed the late Palestinian president.

Witnesses say bodyguards of former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas hustled him away unharmed, and also started shooting. At least two security guards were killed by gunfire and at least four other people were wounded.

Palestinian officials say it was not an assassination attempt.

Mr. Abbas is Mr. Arafat's successor as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He is expected to be a candidate in the January 9 election for Palestinian Authority president.

Mr. Arafat died Thursday in a Paris hospital. France's health minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said today there is no indication Mr. Arafat was poisoned. He was responding to rumors circulating in the Arab world.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.