Security forces had been tipped off about the vehicle and were pursuing it in the busy K5 district of the city when the explosion happened, said Col. Ahmed Hassan of the Mogadishu police.
Videos from the scene posted on social media show a huge plume of black smoke rising from the site of the blast.
The UK ambassador to Somalia, David Concar, tweeted that the blast was clearly audible from inside the British Embassy. He also posted a video clip showing thick, dark smoke on the skyline.
Mogadishu, a large city on the east African nation’s coast, is no stranger to violence.
Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group, carried out several deadly car bomb attacks
in the city in just the first few months of this year.