Pakistan test-fires ballistic missile

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Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile Wednesday, just days after archrival India tested its own long-range missile.

Pakistan today successfully conducted the launch of the intermediate-range ballistic missile Hatf IV Shaheen-1A weapon system,” Islamabad’s military said in a statement.

The statement said the missile is an updated version of the Shaheen with improvements in range and technical parameters. It can carry nuclear and conventional warheads.

The test took place less than a week after India tested a longer-range, nuclear-capable missile, the Agni 5.

Pakistan is the fourth Asian nation to test a missile this month.

Earlier this month, North Korea tested a rocket that it said was designed to put a satellite into orbit, but that U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials described as an illegal test of a ballistic missile. The launch failed; the following week, South Korea tested a short-range missile.

India and Pakistan — which have fought three wars since Britain divided the subcontinent between them in 1947 — regularly have test-fired short- and intermediate-range missiles since both conducted successful nuclear weapons tests in 1998.

Pakistan’s previous missile test came last month with the launch of the short-range, nuclear-capable Abdali.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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