Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable missile | News | DW | 25.04.2012
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Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable missile

Pakistan says it conducted a successful test-launch of a ballistic missile. The test comes days after its nuclear-capable rival, India, tested a long-range missile.

Pakistanon Wednesday said it successfully launched an intermediate-range, nuclear-capable missile.

The country's military said in a statement that the ballistic missile was an upgraded version of the Shaheen 1, which is thought to have a maximum range of 750 kilometers (465 miles). Military officials declined to comment on the specific range of the improved version, the Shaheen 1A, which plunged into the Indian Ocean following the launch.

"The improved version of Shaaheen 1A will further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan's deterence capabilities," said Lieutenant-General Ahmed Kidwai, the official responsible for the country's nuclear program.

The missile test comes just days after Pakistan's bitter rival, India, announced it had successfully launched a new long-range missile, the Agni-V, which has a range of 5,000 kilometers.

Pakistan and India, which both have nuclear weapons, have fought three wars since they gained their independence from Britain in 1947. It is standard procedure for them to inform each other in advance of such tests.

India's latest missile test is seeing as having been conducted with an eye towards China as opposed to Pakistan.

pfd/acb (Reuters, AP)