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Pak test-fires cruise missile

Islamabad, December 11
Amidst global concerns about the safety of its atomic arsenal, Pakistan today test fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile with a range of 700 km, which could hit targets inside India.

The successful launch of the medium-range Babar Hatf-7 missile was “part of a continuous process of validating the design parameters for this weapon system”, the army said in a statement.

It did not say where the test was carried out. State-run PTV showed footage of the missile lifting off from a launcher.

“The test will consolidate Pakistan’s strategic capability and strengthen national security,” the statement said.

The Babar cruise missile can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads. The 1.5-tonne, 22-foot-long missile is capable of carrying a 250-kg warhead and hitting targets inside India.

It is believed Pakistan is working on developing a nuclear warhead that would fit into it.

President Pervez Musharraf and caretaker Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro congratulated defence scientists and engineers on the successful missile test.

The missile has “near stealth capabilities” and is “a low-flying, terrain hugging missile with high maneuverability, pin-point accuracy and radar avoidance features”. — PTI

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