Witnesses in Somalia say at least four people were killed and four others were wounded when Ethiopian troops shelled a neighborhood in the central town of Beledweyn.

The district chairman of Beledweyn, Ahmed Gobey, told reporters that Ethiopian troops shelled the neighborhood in response to an attack on the soldiers' base late Monday. Witnesses say the shelling victims included three members of the same family.

Also late Monday, Islamist insurgents exchanged heavy weapons fire with Somali government troops and Ethiopian soldiers for at least 30 minutes in the Hodan district of the capital, Mogadishu. Witnesses report both grenade and machine gun fire exchanged between the two sides. At least one soldier was killed.

The insurgency has raged on since the government ousted a rival Islamist movement from power in Mogadishu last December, with the help of Ethiopian troops.

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 the talks between Somalia's many clans and factions are making progress.

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