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South Korea launches manhunt for soldier who killed 5 comrades

South Korean special forces joined a manhunt on Sunday for a soldier who killed five comrades in a grenade and gun attack at a base near the North Korean border, and once dawn broke military helicopters began scouring the forested hillsides.

The soldier shot dead five of his fellow unit members and wounded seven others late on Saturday at a outpost in the base at Goseong county, a mountainous region that borders the North on the eastern coast of the peninsula.

He then fled into the night carrying a firearm, ammunition and a grenade, according to military officials.

Yonhap news agency named the soldier, and gave more details of what happened at the base. “Sergeant Lim was to be discharged three months later on September 16,” Yonhap reported. “He first threw a grenade and then opened fire. He was returning after completing his day shift duty.” 

The shooting comes at a sensitive period for South Korea, with the nation still in shock after the death of more than 300 people, mostly school children, in a ferry disaster in April. 

Source: Reuters