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Indian Army soldier kills 5 colleagues and himself at camp in Kashmir

By Mukhtar Ahmad and Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 2:00 AM EST, Thu February 27, 2014
An Indian army soldier killed 5 of his colleagues and himself in the region of Kashmir. Large numbers of troops, such as the ones pictured in the above file photo, are stationed in the disputed region.
An Indian army soldier killed 5 of his colleagues and himself in the region of Kashmir. Large numbers of troops, such as the ones pictured in the above file photo, are stationed in the disputed region.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A soldier opens fire with an automatic rifle in a camp north of Srinagar
  • He kills five colleagues in the barracks before turning the gun on himself
  • Previous cases of soldiers attacking colleagues have taken place in Kashmir

Srinagar, India (CNN) -- A soldier at an army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir killed five of his colleagues Thursday before turning his gun on himself, the military said.

The soldier opened fire with an automatic rifle in the barracks of the camp in the town of Safapora, roughly 30 kilometers (19 miles) north of the capital, Srinagar, said military spokesman Lt. Col. N.N. Joshi.

An investigation into the shooting has been ordered, Joshi said.

Rising tensions in Kashmir

Kashmir is a mountainous region that has long been the subject of dispute between India and Pakistan. Both sides keep large numbers of troops in the region.

Since 1989, India has also been fighting against a violent separatist movement in the mainly Muslim area it controls, a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people.

Previous cases of members of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces in Kashmir turning their guns on their colleagues have taken place over the years.

Authorities have attributed previous shootings to stress caused by long duty hours and protracted separation from families.

Officials have introduced measures like long periods of leave and recreational facilities to try to tackle the problem.

Journalist Mukhtar Ahmad reported from Srinagar, and CNN's Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong.

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