Soldier shoots dead five colleagues in Indian Kashmir before killing himself

SRINAGAR, India (AFP) - A soldier in Indian Kashmir shot dead five of his colleagues in a military camp before turning the gun on himself, an army spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

"The soldier ran amok, killing five others before shooting himself dead in the camp in Ganderbal district," lieutenant colonel Narinder Nahar Joshi said.

The soldier was part of a counter-insurgency unit posted in Safapora village, some 20 kilometres north of Srinagar, the main city of the region.

Investigations are under way to determine whether the soldier was under stress.

A number of Indian soldiers and policemen deployed in the disputed state have been killed in similar incidents in the past.

Members of the security forces are often denied leave for long periods during tough counter-insurgency operations.

In recent years, the army has set up helplines and yoga classes to help soldiers deal with stress.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided and administered separately by India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both.

The two countries have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.