The death toll of the suicide car bombing in Mogadishu on Saturday rises to 79, leaving 149 others injured, a government official confirmed.

Somalia government spokesman Ismael Mukhtar Omar confirmed the death toll of the suicide bomb attack that occurred at a checkpoint near ex-control on Afgoye road in the outskirt of Mogadishu.

"The death toll is 79, the number of victims injured is 149. The commission appointed by Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire visited the hospitals. The Somali government strongly condemns this despicable act of terrorism." Omar told Xinhua.

Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and the United Nations earlier on Saturday condemned the attack.

Farmajo sent his condolences to those affected and wished the injured quick recovery. He said terrorists targeted innocent children, mothers and their fathers who were going about their activities.

"Today is a sad day that shows how terrorism has targeted our people. I share our grief with the families...I hope Allah will heal us from the wounds," he said in a statement issued after the attack at the checkpoint in Afgoye, about 30km west of Mogadishu.

Sources said among the dead included foreign nationals who were involved in road construction.

Deputy UN Representative in Somalia Adam Abdelmoula condemned the attack, noting the world body stands with the people of Somalia during the difficult moments.

"I condemn today's barbaric attack in the strongest possible terms. My prayers are with all those affected. The UN stands firm in its continued solidarity with the people of Somalia and their government," said Abdelmoula in a tweet.

Omar Mohamud Filish, the Governor of Benadir Region and also Mayor of Mogadishu said in a press conference in Mogadishu earlier that the vehicle involved in the attack was a truck that blew up at a busy road near the checkpoint where there were several vehicles that waited for security check before they could proceed with their journey.

At least 15 students from Banadir University who were traveling in a minivan were also killed, according to multiple sources.

The loss came barely two months after the university marked a decade since the Shamo Hotel attack in Mogadishu which killed at least 20 graduands, teachers and government officials.

On Dec. 10, al-Shabab extremists stormed a popular hotel in Mogadishu, which left at least four people dead and six others injured.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the latest attack but al-Shabab militants carried out such attacks in the past. The high civilian toll is likely to explain the group's silence in claiming responsibility on Saturday.

The latest attack could be the deadliest one in the country since a truck bombing attack in October 2017 in Mogadishu left over 500 people dead and more than 300 others injured.