Woman and child flee Arsal as battles between Islamist gunmen and the Lebanese Army rage for a third day. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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At least 3,000 families from Arsal have been displaced so far in clashes between Islamist militants and the Lebanese Army which began Saturday, the mayor of Labweh, Ramez Amhaz estimated.The Daily Star spoke to one Lebanese family, who asked not to be named, as they were fleeing the town.Arsal resident Merhi Fliti, who Sunday said he was adamant on staying, explained that he he had left the town at 6:30 a.m Monday morning with a heavy heart. Mahmoud Ezzedine, a Lebanese resident of Arsal who manages several Syrian refugee camps in the outskirts of Arsal with the NGO Shebab al Umma, described the situation as "alarming".Amhaz said militants had entered Arsal when they heard that the Army would be conducting a joint operation with Hezbollah to rid the town of gunmen.Dr. Bassem al-Faris, a Syrian doctor who manages a hospital in Arsal, described the frantic scene.
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