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Iran launches underground ballistic missiles for first time

An upgraded version of the short-range surface-to-surface Fateh-110 missile is test fired in 2010 in this photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry [Vahid Reza Alaei / Iranian Defense Ministry]
Iranian missile, 23 July 2017 [Vahid Reza Alaei/Iranian Defense Ministry]

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said yesterday it launched ballistic missiles from "the depths of the Earth" for the first time, international news agencies reported local media saying.

The launch took place, Al Jazeera reported, during the last day of military exercises near Gulf waters.

In a statement reported by Al Jazeera, the IRGC said it was "the first time in the world" that such an exercise had been carried out.

The IRGC hailed "the successful launch of ballistic missiles from the depths of the Earth in a completely camouflaged way" as an "important achievement that could pose serious challenges to enemy intelligence organisations."

It also released bombs from Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jets to target predetermined positions on Bani Farur Island in Iran's territorial waters.

READ: Iran starts military drills in Gulf, off Strait of Hormuz

"These launches were carried out without the platform and usual equipment," Al Jazeera reported the IRGC aerospace chief Brigadier-General Amirali Hajizadeh saying on state television.

"The buried missiles suddenly tear through the ground and hit their targets with precision," he said.

During the exercise, the IRGC launched missiles at a mock-up US aircraft carrier in the Gulf waters, prompting American criticism as Washington described the measure as "irresponsible".

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