India test-fires nuclear-capable missile

09:17, October 13, 2009      

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India successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable missile Monday with a range of 220 miles (350 kilometers), a defense ministry statement said.

Monday's test was considered routine and unlikely to aggravate tensions with longtime rival Pakistan.

The surface-to-surface missile, "Prithvi-II" (Earth), was fired twice from a range in Chandipur in the eastern state of Orissa, the statement added.

It can carry a warhead weighing up to 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms), it said.

The Indian army already has inducted a shorter version of the missile, "Prithvi-I," with a range of 95 miles (150 kilometers). It can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

India's current crop of missiles is mostly intended for confronting neighboring Pakistan.

The two countries routinely test-fire missiles, but usually notify each other ahead of the launches in keeping with an agreement.

They have been holding peace talks since 2004 aimed at resolving their differences, including their dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, although the dialogue has been hindered by last year's Mumbai terror attacks by Pakistan-based militants. The two countries have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over control of Kashmir.

Source: Agencies
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