Five dead bodies were discovered and buried Sunday in the Somali capital after Ethiopian troops vacated 30th Avenue, a major thoroughfare that runs adjacent to Mogadishu’s main Bakara market.
The Ethiopian army contingent had been stationed at 30th Avenue for the past nine days, residents said.
A local who returned to his home after the Ethiopians left the area told Garowe Online that he saw the dead bodies, who were all men.
He described dead body parts bit off by wild animals after the corpses lay on the streets for several days.
The troops were dispatched to 30th Avenue last Saturday, when rebels and government troops fought for hours along the road and into Bakara market, killing scores of people.
Police officers stationed at three locations inside Bakara market were abruptly withdrawn today, following several grenade attacks last night and today, officials said.
Casualty reports were difficult to confirm but the police withdrew to the outskirts of Bakara and took control of strategic roads leading into the market.
The free movement of people and traffic resumed after the security forces left the market, although stores did not open for business.
Police spokesman Abdullahi Shasha told reporters later today that security forces had detained several people for attacking the police at Bakara last night and this morning.
His claim could not be independently verified.
Somalia’s Ethiopian-backed interim government has faced a bloody insurgency since early 2007, with daily shootings, roadside bombings and assassinations.
More than 6,500 people died in the violence last year, with another 600,000 civilians displaced by the conflict, according to UN figures.