MOGADISHU, Somalia Hundreds of residents fled Somalia's capital on foot, by car and on donkey carts Monday and others removed corpses from the streets after a bloody weekend that killed some 80 people.
On Sunday, a local human rights group said street fighting between Ethiopian troops and Islamic fighters trying to bring down Somalia's shaky government killed 81 people over two days.
"We have left our homes for the first time in days to find the dead bodies of our neighbors and bury them," said Aden Haji Yusuf, 60, one of Somalia's highly revered clan elders.
Gunshots a frighteningly common sound in this bloodstained capital echoed in the distance as Yusuf and other elders recovered bodies. An Associated Press reporter saw at least 10 bodies being collected Monday around a mosque.
Meanwhile, hundreds used the relative lull in violence to escape Mogadishu, abandoning their homes and possessions.
"Ethiopian tanks are still stationed inside our neighborhoods and the insurgents are likely to launch counterattacks, so we are leaving for our own safety," said Faduma Ahmed, who was fleeing with her six children and her brother.
Ethiopian troops supporting the transitional government's soldiers come under daily attack from the Islamic fighters they chased from power in the capital in December 2006.
The Islamists receive support from Ethiopia's archenemy, Eritrea.
Impoverished Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew a dictator then turned on one another.