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Officer, Three Bombers Dead in Attack on Secured Kabul Hotel

Three attackers and a police officer were killed in an attempted car bomb attack early Monday on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, authorities told NBC News.

The initial explosion at the Northgate, a secured hotel for foreigners near the Kabul airport, killed the officer and one of the bombers, police and government officials said. The two others were killed in an exchange of gunfire with police, they said.

An undetermined number of people were injured in the explosion, and one police officer was wounded in the ensuing gunbattle, said Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

IMAGE: Kabul car bomb scene
Police block a road leading to the site of an explosion early Monday in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP

The explosion, which could be heard across the city about 1:30 a.m. (5 p.m. ET Sunday), was followed by a loss of power, a senior police official told NBC News.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, claiming in a statement that the blast caused "over 100" casualties and said its fighters had entered the compound.

But Sediqqi said the attackers failed to enter the hotel complex, detonating their vehicle in a market adjacent to the hotel compound.

NATO's counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan said it was assessing the situation.