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Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable medium-range missile

(Xinhua)

08:16, April 26, 2012

ISLAMABAD, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan on Wednesday successfully launched a medium range ballistic nuclear capable missile, the military said.

Pakistan conducted the test just days after India test-fired its first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), Agni-V. "Pakistan today successfully conducted the launch of intermediate range ballistic missile Hatf-4 Shaheen-1A weapons system,"an army statement said Wednesday. "The missile is an improved version of Shaheen-1 with improvements in range and technical parameters," the statement said.

The missile is capable of' carrying nuclear and conventional warheads', statement from the army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Senior military and officials involved in the country's missile system witnessed the missile test.

The statement did not mention the place where the test was conducted.

The ISPR said that the missile hit the target in sea.

President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani congratulated the scientists and the military on the successful launch of the missile system.

The nuclear-capable Shaheen-1 missile has originally a range of 700 kilometers (420 miles), according to the army.

Pakistan routinely tests various missiles in its arsenal, designed to match that of neighboring archrival India.

Pakistan conducted the test a few days after India said it successfully test-fired its first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), Agni-V. India said it had joined the elite club of ICBM nations.

Agni-V, the ICBM test-fired by India last week, is capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The missile can carry a pay-load of 1 tonne, and it is 17 m long, 2 m wide and weighs 50 tonnes, according to India media.

Only the permanent members of the UN Security Council - China, Russia, France, the United States and the United Kingdom - have such long distance missiles.

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