Afghan officials have seized enough explosive chemicals to make hundreds of homemade bombs after finding it hidden in paint and pickle boxes in the back of a lorry in southern Kandahar.

The 17,000 kg (37,478 lbs) of banned fertilizer, which is the key ingredient in Taliban bombs, was being smuggled in 10lb boxes in a lorry from Quetta in Pakistan according to officers.

Gen Mohammad Shafiq Fazli said the lorry had been trailed before being seized south of the city. He said 4 people were arrested including two Pakistan nationals.

Hidden homemade bombs targeting patrols and convoys account for nearly two thirds of NATO casualties and also indiscriminately kill hundreds of Afghans.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer was banned by Hamid Karzai earlier this year at the request of NATO troops because of its use in homemade explosives.

Gen Fazli said: "Our enemies use various techniques with the purpose of destroying our country, but our alert police have been defusing their plans, as you see from today's good example."


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