Updated: 06/21/2014 22:47 | By Agence France-Presse

S. Korean border guard kills five fellow soldiers

A military manhunt was underway Saturday for a South Korean soldier who shot and killed five members of his own unit at a guard post on the border with North Korea.

S. Korean border guard kills five fellow soldiers

Military guard posts of South Korea (bottom) and North Korea (top) stand opposite each other as seen from the border city of Paju on March 27, 2013 - by Jung Yeon-Je

"He shot dead five fellow soldiers, wounded five others and then fled the scene with his rifle and ammunition," an army spokesman told AFP.

There was no immediate indication of what might have triggered the shooting, which occurred shortly after 8:00pm (1200GMT) at a guard post on the eastern section of the heavily-guarded inter-Korean border.

The post was located just outside the demilitarised zone (DMZ) -- a buffer strip that runs the full length of the frontier.

The spokesman said the five wounded were taken to a military hospital and a manhunt had been launched for the armed renegade guard.

Because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas technically remain at war.

The DMZ is known as the world's last Cold War frontier, and separates the thriving capitalist south from isolated, impoverished North Korea which has defied the world with its nuclear drive.

Splitting the two Koreas since the 1950-53 war, the four-kilometre-wide (2.5 miles) DMZ features guard posts manned by rival armies and barbed wire, and roads bisecting minefields.

Many of the South Korean soldiers on border duty are young recruits doing their mandatory military service.

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