An Afghan police official says there has been a strong explosion near a guesthouse for foreigners in Kabul.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blast, which shook much of the capital at 1:25 a.m. Monday. The blast was followed by widespread power outages.

Gul Agha Rohani, Kabul's deputy chief of police said the blast happened east of the city's international airport. Rohani named the Northgate Hotel, which houses international contractors, without further details.

An email message from Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents had attacked that hotel.

A man who answered the phone at the hotel said there had been a large explosion at the facility.

"We have 100 percent accountability," he said, before cutting the line.

Foreign guesthouses have been a regular target of insurgent attacks.