India test fires nuclear-capable missile

India test-fired a medium-range nuclear-capable missile today with a range of nearly 100 miles, a defence ministry official said.

India test-fired a medium-range nuclear-capable missile today with a range of nearly 100 miles, a defence ministry official said.

The surface-to-surface Prithvi (Earth) missile was fired from the test range in Chandipur in the eastern state of Orissa as a trial by the army.

Chandipur is 45 miles north of Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state.

India and long-time rival Pakistan routinely test-fire missiles, but usually notify each other ahead of the launches in keeping with an agreement between the two nations.

The Indian army’s Prithvi missile can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads, the official said.

Last month, India successfully test fired Agni III, a new missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads across much of Asia and the Middle East.

India’s current crop of missiles are mostly intended for confronting neighbouring archrival Pakistan.

The Agni III, in contrast, is India’s longest-range missile, designed to reach 1,900 miles – putting China’s major cities well into range, as well as targets deep in the Middle East.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947.

They have been holding peace talks since 1994 aimed at resolving their differences, including their dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

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