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Military: Pakistan Test Fires Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile


Pakistan says it has successfully test fired a new air-launched cruise missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

A military statement said Saturday the locally-developed Hatf-8, or Ra'ad missile, has a range of 350 kilometers.

The statement said Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf congratulated the engineers and scientists who developed the missile. General Musharraf also is the head of the country's armed forces.

Pakistan last test fired another type of nuclear-capable cruise missile in late July. That weapon, the Hatf-7, or Babur missile, has a range of 700 kilometers.

Pakistan and nuclear-rival neighbor, India, both routinely conduct missile tests to demonstrate their defensive readiness. They normally inform each other in advance of a long-range test.

Both Pakistan and India conducted underground nuclear tests in May 1998, but have since taken steps to normalize relations.

In 2004, the two South Asian countries began a peace process aimed at settling their dispute over the Himalayan mountain territory of Kashmir. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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