Pakistan seizes 100 tonnes of bomb-making chemicals

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers stand beside seized bomb-making material in Quetta on 20 August 2013. The warehouse was stocked with potassium chlorate, ammonium chlorate, sulphur and detonating equipment

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Security forces have seized 100 tonnes of bomb-making materials and detained 10 people in a raid in Quetta, south-west Pakistan, officials say.

The cache contained chemicals used to mix bombs, wires and detonating equipment, says Col Maqbool Shah.

They were the same type used in two attacks in the city earlier this year killing more than 120 people, he added.

Balochistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, is plagued by Taliban attacks as well as sectarian violence.

Pakistan map

The raid on the warehouse followed the earlier arrest of two men found driving a truck containing 15 tonnes of potassium chlorate.

They reportedly informed investigators of the presence of potassium chlorate, ammonium chlorate acid, detonating equipment and machines to mix the material together at a compound in the city.

Eighty drums of material had been prepared and were ready to explode if a detonator was attached, and 10 people were arrested, Col Shah, of the Frontier Corps, told Reuters news agency.

"I'm very thankful to God that today we saved Quetta especially and Balochistan generally from a big accident," he added.

No group was identified as owning the cache of bomb-making equipment.

The Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the two attacks in January which mainly hit Quetta's Hazara Shia community.

Balochistan province is a major flashpoint for violence between the Sunni and Shia Muslim communities, as well a separatist insurrection by the Baloch Liberation Army.

The Taliban are among the various militant organisations active in the city.

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