Witnesses in Somalia say mortar barrages, grenade attacks and gunfire have left at least 10 people dead in the capital, Mogadishu.

The witnesses say at least nine people were killed when government and Ethiopian troops exchanged mortars with insurgents shortly after midnight, local time Thursday. Reports from the scene say the insurgents initially fired on a police station, and that some of the shells hit private homes instead.

Elsewhere, at least one person died when insurgents tossed a grenade at a group of soldiers patrolling a Mogadishu neighborhood.

The capital has been wracked by violence since December, when the Somali government ousted a rival Islamist movement with the help of Ethiopian troops.

Islamist hard-liners are blamed for the Iraq-style insurgency that has forced more than 100,000 Mogadishu residents to flee the city.

Somalia's government opened a national peace conference earlier this month in hopes of ending the country's violence and chaos. So far, there has been no sign that the talks between Somalia's many clans and factions are making progress.

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