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India tests  Akash missile - 2003-01-18


India has carried out its second missile test of the month, firing a surface-to-air Akash missile at a testing range on the Indian east coast.

The Press Trust of India says officials fired the domestically-built Akash (Saturday) from a mobile launchpad in Chandipur, a town in Orissa state.

Pakistan's Information Minister (Sheikh Rashind Amed) immediately criticized the test, saying it shows India wants to whip up war hysteria and pursue an arms race.

The Akash has a range of about 25 kilometers and can carry a payload of 50 kilograms. It is one of several missiles being developed by the Indian military.

Last week, India tested its Agni One missile, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and can strike almost any part of Pakistan, India's nuclear rival.

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