He said his men collected the bodies of 15 civilians.
 
Mortar attacks
 
"Some died while fleeing the fighting while others died in their homes when Ethiopian mortars responding to insurgent attacks slammed into their houses," Nur said.
 
Ali Bashir Ahmed Siyad, another elder, said two Ethiopian soldiers died in the clashes.
 
In focus


Life in a failed state

Separately, the bodies of two young men were retrieved after Monday's clashes in which fighters attacked transitional government forces.
 
The fighting took place at a junction near the main Bakara market in Mogadishu's south.
 
The Somali transitional government, formed in Kenya and propped up by Ethiopian forces, has fought a year-long war against Islamic courts fighters.
 
Kismayo killings
 
Earlier on Monday, two foreign aid workers and two Somalis were killed by a roadside bomb near the southern port city of Kismayo.

Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the medical aid group, said three of the dead were working for the aid agency - a Frenchman, a Kenyan doctor and a Somali driver.
 
Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991, and most of the country is controlled by local clan leaders, not Somalia's interim government.
 
Thousands of Somalis were killed last year in fighting, mostly in Mogadishu.