Indian army soldier kills 5 colleagues, himself

SRINAGAR, India (AP) - An Indian soldier fired indiscriminately at his colleagues after an altercation at an army camp in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir on Thursday, killing five of them before fatally shooting himself, officials said.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Nitin Narhar Joshi said an inquiry has been ordered into the killings in northern Ganderbal region.

An army officer said the soldier had an argument with some of his colleagues after he returned from his duty at a sentry post in the camp and later opened fire.

Five soldiers died on the spot and another was wounded, the officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Similar incidents in the past have been attributed to the stressful conditions the troops work under, including long hours under extreme weather conditions in the Himalayas and fighting anti-India rebels. The soldiers can be posted away from their families for years.

Several rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan.

Though rebels have largely been suppressed, India still maintains over half a million soldiers in Kashmir, many along the frontier with Pakistan, but plenty more in towns and villages.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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