A Somali official says that seven people have been killed in an attack in Baidoa at the headquarters of the state government.

Ahmed Mohammed, a local administration official, said Thursday four government soldiers and three of the gunmen have been killed.

Capt. Hassan Hussein, a police official in Baidoa, says the attack started with two explosions at the gate of the headquarters of South Western State followed by gunmen shooting their way onto the premises.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but it bares the hallmarks of the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab.

South Western State was formed in November 2014 to become the fourth federal state in Somalia and is led by the former Somali Parliamentary Speaker Shariff Hassan Sheikh Aden.