KABUL: Afghan authorities say an overnight attack on a Kabul guesthouse for foreign contractors that was claimed by the Taliban left one policeman dead and four wounded.

The Interior Ministry says "terrorists" used a truck full of explosives to breach the guesthouse wall of the Northgate Hotel around 1:30 am on Monday. Three gunmen then entered the premises and started shooting.

The explosion in the eastern part of the Afghan capital shook the city and was followed by widespread power outages.

The Taliban issued a statement claiming responsibility, saying they had sent heavily armed operatives as part of the attack.

Abdul Rahman Rahimi, the Kabul chief of police, says the attackers were killed and none of the hotel's residents were harmed.

Foreign guesthouses have long been a Taliban target.