Taliban attack Kabul guesthouse for foreigners

This photo taken from Kabul Mountain, south of the city, shows the layout of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, July 31, 2016.

Rahmat Gul, AP

Last Updated Aug 1, 2016 8:22 AM EDT

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 a.m. 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 been a regular target of insurgent attacks since the Taliban began their war to topple the Kabul government.

The Northgate is typical of many pre-fabricated compounds that offer secure accommodation to foreign workers. It is near the Bagram Air Base and has been attacked by insurgents at least once before, in July 2013.

Monday's blast follows a suicide attack on a peaceful demonstration on July 23 that killed more than 80 people and wounded hundreds.

That attack was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), its first in the Afghan capital and the biggest in Kabul since the Taliban launched their insurgency in 2001.