Pakistan seizes 100 tonnes of bomb-making chemicals

QUETTA, Pakistan (AFP) - Paramilitary forces on Tuesday seized more than 100 tonnes of bomb-making chemicals from a truck and a compound in southwest Pakistan and detained 10 suspects, officials said.

They also found wires, detonators and mixers to turn the chemicals into bombs, paramilitary Colonel Maqbool Ahmed told AFP.

"We have arrested 10 people during the raid at the compound and the truck and seized 100.5 tons of explosive material with detonators," he said.

Suspects told investigators that potassium chlorate and ammonium chlorate were packed with wires and detonators into vehicles at the compound, he added.

Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, is frequently hit by bomb attacks.

The oil and gas-rich area borders Iran and Afghanistan and suffers from sectarian violence, attacks by Taleban militants and a tribal insurgency.

Baluch rebels rose up in 2004, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's mineral resources.

Baluchistan has also been a flashpoint for violence between majority Sunnis and Shiites, who make up around 20 per cent of the population.

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