By Rob Crilly, Islamabad
Ten people were also arrested when paramilitary forces raided a warehouse in the south-western city of Quetta on Tuesday.
The material included stocks of potassium chlorate and ammonium chlorate, a mixture used in two huge bombings carried out in predominantly Shia areas of the city earlier this year, in attacks that killed more than 200 people.
The raid came a day after two men were arrested driving a truck in the city carrying 15 tons of potassium chlorate.
Colonel Maqbool Shah said information from the two men led officers to a compound which appeared to be used to store explosives and assemble bombs.
“I’m very thankful to God that today we saved Quetta especially and Baluchistan generally from a big accident,” he told Reuters news agency.
Pakistan’s vast south-western province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran, has been badly affected by insecurity.
Rebels rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s rich mineral resources.
It has also been a flashpoint for violence between Sunnis and Shias, a minority who make up about 20 per cent of the population.
In the worst attack this year, more than 80 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a snooker hall in a Shia area of Quetta. It was followed minutes later by a car bomb.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a sectarian Sunni outfit, claimed responsibility and more bombings followed.
Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has said he will tackle terrorism and has floated the idea of opening talks with the Pakistan Taliban in order to secure peace.
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