File - An elderly man walks in al Qaa border village, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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Months after the Army drove out Daesh (ISIS) militants from the outskirts of Ras Baalbeck and Al-Qaa, locals of the nearby towns say the most obvious change is perhaps the absence of shelling echoing through the nearby hills.Militants held the outskirts near the edge of the northeastern border towns, and their presence long posed a security threat in these areas. Mrad said that residents had become used to the sound of the Army's heavy shelling, saying the explosions were not frightening, but rather reassured locals that the military was taking action against the militants.As the offensive began, residents of the border towns gathered force and united in their support for the Army.
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