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Pakistan Tests Nuclear Capable, Medium Range Missile 


The Pakistani military says it has successfully test-fired a medium-range, nuclear capable ballistic missile.

A statement said the Shaheen-1 (Haft IV) missile was launched from an undisclosed location during a military exercise Friday.

It said the missile has a range of about 700 kilometers.

Speaking after the test, Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Kiyani dismissed fears that the country's nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of Islamic militants. He rejected the concern as "unrealistic" and said Pakistan's armed forces are "capable of safeguarding and securing nuclear assets against all categories of threat."

Pakistan's political turmoil and a rise in Islamic militant attacks across the country have sparked international concerns about the safety of its nuclear arsenal.

Pakistan and its arch rival India, routinely test various missiles.

The two countries are obliged to inform each other ahead of such tests under the terms of an agreement that aims to build confidence between the neighbors that have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

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