India reviewing procedures after missile accident

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India is conducting a review of its procedures for operations, maintenance and inspection of weapons systems after accidentally launching a missile into Pakistan last week, its defence minister said on Tuesday.

“We attach the highest priority to the safety and security of our weapon systems. If any shortcoming is found, it would be immediately rectified,” Rajnath Singh told parliament.

India accidentally released a missile, which landed in Pakistan, about 7pm last Wednesday during routine maintenance and inspection, he said.

Pakistan has asked for a joint probe into the incident, demanding clarifications from New Delhi over its safety mechanism to prevent accidental missile launches.

Although tensions between two countries have calmed in recent months, military experts have previously warned of the risk of accidents or miscalculations by the nuclear-armed arch rivals, which have fought three wars.

India has started a high-level inquiry into the accident, which did not lead to any injuries or deaths, Singh said.

“I can assure the House that the missile system is very reliable and safe,” he said, without specifying which missile had been accidentally launched.

“Moreover, our safety procedures and protocols are of the highest order and are reviewed from time to time,” Singh said.

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