India test-fires its longest-range intercontinental missile

India tested its longest-range intercontinental missile on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said. The move is seen as part of efforts to build a nuclear deterrent against neighboring Pakistan and China, Reuters said. The 5,000km-range Agni missile was tested from an island off India’s eastern coast in the Bay of Bengal, according to the ministry. It described the launch as “a major boost to the defense capabilities” of India. The Agni-V is an advanced version of the indigenously-built Agni, or Fire, series. It is part of a program that started in the 1980s. New Delhi sees a twin “threat” from Pakistan, which is developing a nuclear and missile program of its own, and China.