KABUL, Afghanistan — A strong explosion took place early Monday near a guesthouse for foreigners in Kabul, an Afghan police official said.

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

Gul Agha Rohani, Kabul’s deputy chief of police, said the explosion 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 insurgents had attacked that hotel.


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