Residents of Arsal flee the fighting. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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Many Arsalis flee, others remain, expecting the worstGripped with the fear that violence might soon consume their town, numerous Arsal residents have fled to neighboring areas, while others have opted to stay and protect their properties. Streams of cars were seen leaving the town Sunday afternoon, carrying families fearful that the clashes would escalate. Residents in and around areas where the violence was especially severe moved to safer areas inside Arsal, while others left the town entirely to take shelter in Baalbek and the nearby towns of Ras Baalbek and Fakiha. Claims made by Fliti that blocked roads in Labweh had impeded Arsalis from leaving the town were categorically denied by Labweh's mayor Ramez Amhaz, who said: "The road from Arsal is fully open and numerous cars have been bringing families to Labweh.Arsal is home to 40,000 Lebanese residents and over 40,000 Syrian refugees registered with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. Municipal estimates, however, put the number of Syrians in the town to about 100,000 .
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