At least 16 more bodies have been found in Mogadishu, bringing the death toll from fierce fighting in the last three days in the Somali capital to 59.

Residents rummaging through the destruction found nine bodies near a mosque and another six in the Black Sea district south of Mogadishu, where Ethiopian forces clashed with fighters this week.

The body of an Ethiopian soldier was also found in Black Sea on Saturday. “It was a very gruesome scene.

They indiscriminately shot innocent civilians who were fleeing the fighting,” Ali Muse Mohamed, a local elder, said referring to Ethiopian soldiers.

Osman Keysaney, another resident, said the six civilians whose bodies were found in the Black Sea district had gunshot wounds to the head.

Fierce fighting

“They shot any moving creature around the neighbourhood,” Hassan Sugule, another elder, said.

“They also killed children.”

Heavy fighting between Ethiopian forces and armed men erupted on Thursday, resulting in the death of several people, including Ethiopian soldiers.

The body of an Ethiopian soldier was dragged on the streets by civilians on Thursday. This sparked reprisal attacks the following day.

On Friday, Ethiopian forces shelled suspected hideouts of armed groups in Mogadishu’s southern districts.

The Ethiopian troops fought alongside the embatteled Somali government last year to drive out the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) fighters who briefly controlled large parts of the country and sought to impose Islamic law.

Although the ICU was ousted earlier this year, its remnants and allied tribes have since waged a guerrilla war targeting government officials, Ethiopian troops and African Union peacekeepers.