Witnesses in Somalia say at least 10 civilians were killed when government forces shelled a busy market during fighting with Islamic militants in the capital, Mogadishu.

The fighting erupted Tuesday when al-Shabab militants fired rockets at a Somali military base. Witnesses say government troops then returned fire causing the civilian deaths. At least one mortar shells landed on a restaurant in the market killing six people instantly. Dozens of others were also injured in the shelling.

In other developments, Ethiopian troops have started packing up to leave the country on the day they were expected to have completed their withdrawal.

Ethiopia originally said it would end its mission in the country by the end of the year, however no final date has been given for their departure.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the al-Shabab militants, Sheik Muktar Robow, says they will continue their insurgency regardless of whether the Ethiopian troops withdrawal from the country, adding that its goal is to impose Islamic (sharia) law across Somalia.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.