A small Sunni enclave remains in the area.
Mohamed Reyad, 21, has left his job as a plumber to help other locals guard the mosque.
He says he is not part of a militia. The group's weapons are donated by "Sunni brothers", including the Association of Muslims Scholars, he says.
"My life is basically between the house and guarding the mosque. You can't go anywhere else. If you go down that street, it's almost guaranteed a car will stop, pick you up, and you'll disappear."