New Delhi, Sep 27: A new version of the Akash missile was successfully flight-tested on Monday from the integrated test range at Chandipur in Odisha, officials said.

The missile -- 'Akash Prime' -- intercepted and destroyed an unmanned aerial target mimicking an enemy aircraft in its maiden flight test, they said

The flight testing took place at around 4:30 pm, the officials said.

"In comparison to the existing Akash system, Akash Prime is equipped with an indigenous active RF seeker for improved accuracy. Other improvements also ensure more reliable performance under a low-temperature environment at higher altitudes," said an official.

The modified ground system of the existing Akash weapon system was for the flight test. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Army, Indian Air Force and other stakeholders on the successful trial of the Akash prime missile.

He said the successful flight test proves the competence of the DRDO in designing and developing world-class missile systems.

DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy also congratulated the team involved in the successful flight trial of the missile.

He said Akash Prime system will further boost the confidence of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force as the Akash system is already inducted and now getting improved with more lethal missiles.

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Hong Kong, Oct 25: Amnesty International said Monday it would close its two offices in Hong Kong this year, becoming the latest non-governmental organization to cease its operations amid a crackdown on political dissent in the city.

The human rights group said its local office in Hong Kong would close this month while its regional office will close by the end of the year, with regional operations moved to other offices in the Asia-Pacific region.

This decision, made with a heavy heart, has been driven by Hong Kong's national security law, which has made it effectively impossible for human rights organizations in Hong Kong to work freely and without fear of serious reprisals from the government, Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty's board, said in a statement.

Hong Kong implemented a sweeping national security law in 2020 following months of massive anti-government protests. The law outlaws secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and foreign collusion to intervene in the city's affairs. More than 120 people, many of them supporters of the city's democracy movement, have been arrested under the law.

The majority of the city's prominent pro-democracy activists are behind bars for taking part in unauthorized assemblies, and dozens of political organizations and trade unions have ceased operations out of concern for their members' personal safety under the security law.

Bais said the recent targeting of local human rights and trade union groups signaled authorities were intensifying their campaign to rid the city of dissenting voices. It is increasingly difficult for us to keep operating in such an unstable environment, she said.

Critics in Hong Kong say the national security law is an erosion of freedoms, such as those of expression and assembly, that were promised the city for 50 years when the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.