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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pakistani Readies Test

WASHINGTON () -- U.S. intelligence officials have obtained evidence that Pakistan plans to conduct its first underground nuclear explosion in the event that neighboring India conducts its own nuclear blast in coming months, government officials said Tuesday.

The evidence includes spy satellite photographs showing that Pakistani engineers are finishing the excavation of a mountain in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, near the border with Afghanistan, where such a nuclear blast could be conducted, the officials said.

Washington does not expect Pakistan to conduct such an explosion unless India goes forward with its first blast since 1974, a possibility raised by reports late last year that India was excavating an underground shaft at its nuclear test site in the Rajistan desert.