Source AP ©

Pakistan fires missile capable of carrying nuclear warhead

Pakistan successfully test-fired a cruise missile Thursday capable of delivering nuclear warheads into India.

The test of the Babur or Hatf VII missile was a success that would "consolidate Pakistan's strategic capability and strengthen national security," a military statement said. The military says it has extended the range of the missile, first tested in 2005, to 700 kilometers (435 miles) - enough to reach New Delhi, the capital of archrival India.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz congratulated the scientists and engineers involved in the project, the statement said. It didn't identify the site of the test.

Pakistan routinely tests various nuclear-capable missiles in its arsenal, believed to be designed mainly to match that of neighboring India. The two countries have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, but have been holding peace talks since 2004.

The talks aim to settle their core dispute over Kashmir, the Himalayan territory divided between them, though progress has been slow and there has been no breakthrough.

Thursday's test was the second of the Babur model this year. In February, Pakistan test-fired a new version of its long-range nuclear-capable missile, Hatf VI or Shaheen II, which has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,245 miles).

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