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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 April 2006, 07:12 GMT 08:12 UK
Pakistan stages new missile test
Hatf missile test-fired in March 2006
It is the second time the missile has been successfully tested
Pakistan has successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable missile with a range of 2,000km (1,250 miles), the Pakistani military has said.

It was the second test-firing of the surface-to-surface Hatf VI (Shaheen II) missile, which was first tested in March 2005, officials said.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz watched the launch, at an undisclosed location.

The Hatf VI is Pakistan's longest-range ballistic missile system, with the potential to reach 2,500km.

"The missile test was conducted to validate additional technical parameters beyond those that were verified in the last test fire in March 2005," a military statement said.

Pakistan informed its regional neighbours of the test in advance, and said it would not hurt improving relations with India, the Associated Press news agency said.

Mr Aziz congratulated scientists on "achieving yet another milestone on the road to success", AP reported.

Tension between Pakistan and India - also a nuclear power - has decreased in recent months amid a series of bilateral overtures.

The two powers stepped back from the brink of war after India blamed Pakistan for involvement in an armed attack on the federal parliament in Delhi in 2001.


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