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Pakistan Conducts Second Ballistic Missile Test - 2004-06-04


Pakistan has conducted its second ballistic missile test within a week. The medium-range rocket is capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear warheads. Friday's test was the latest in a series of trials for Pakistan's new Ghauri missile, capable of striking deep into nuclear rival, India.

The launch comes as officials from both countries prepare for their next round of peace talks later this month. The talks were delayed after recent elections in India brought a change of government there.

But Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman, Masood Khan, says the missile tests have nothing to do with the political change in New Delhi.

"The timing of these tests is purely coincidental," he said. "It is not intentional and deliberate in the sense that these tests have been conducted after the recent political transition in India."

Pakistan says all its neighbors, including India, were informed of the missile test in advance.

India and Pakistan have fought three major wars since independence from Britain in 1947. Both the rival nations declared themselves nuclear powers in 1998, raising fears of a nuclear conflict in the region.

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