The Thursday afternoon explosion on Mogadishu’s Maka al-Mukarama road sent a huge cloud of smoke into the sky and destroyed two restaurants and cars parked in the area.
Abdulkadir Abdirahman Adan, director of the Aamin Ambulance service, told AFP that 15 people had been killed, as well as several more wounded by the blast, Presstv Reported.
"The car bomb struck a restaurant along the road," said Abdulahi Osman, who was nearby to the explosion, adding, "This really was a disaster."
Some security officials and witnesses earlier reported bodies lying on the ground. "There was a heavy blast – presumably caused by a vehicle loaded with explosives," said Adan Abdikadir, a government security officer.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
The blast is the latest in a recent string of bombings in the capital, which has regularly been the target of attacks by al-Shabab terrorists.
On Saturday, two explosions and a gunfight between al-Shabab militants and security personnel claimed the lives of at least 15 people in central Mogadishu.
Earlier this month, a deadly car bomb explosion claimed by the Takfiri group hit near the presidential palace in the capital.
The militant outfit was forced out of Mogadishu with the help of African Union forces in 2011. However, it still wields control in large parts of the countryside, and every now and then carries out deadly attacks against government, military, and civilian targets in the capital as well as regional towns.
The terrorist group has fought successive Somali governments as well as neighboring governments in Kenya and Uganda.
Somalia has faced instability and violence since 1991, when the military government was overthrown.
In recent years, the Pentagon has also stepped up airstrikes against alleged positions of al-Shabab militants in the country in the wake of President Donald Trump’s approval in 2017 of expanded military operations there.
Since April 2017, the US "has dramatically increased the number of airstrikes - from manned aircraft and unmanned drones - it has launched in Somalia, tripling the annual rate of attacks," according to the report published on Wednesday.