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US soldier shot and wounded by South Korean police after car chase

Korean police claim US soldier was "threatening" civilians with an airgun, then attempted to flee the scene in Seoul's Itaewon district.

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The USS George Washington during a joint US and South Korea military exercise on the Korean Peninsula's west sea on June 24, 2012. (Song Kyung-Seok/Getty Images)

A US soldier was shot and wounded by South Korean police after a car chase through the streets of Seoul, after police received a report that the soldier was "threatening" civilians with a BB gun in the cosmopolitan Itaewon district of the capital city.

According to Yonhap News, police responded to reports that two US soldiers were misusing an BB gun late March 2, while the soldiers fused to identify themselves and leapt into a car, prompting a police chase.

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The police officers fired a blank warning shot and then followed with three live rounds, wounding one of the men, writes Voice of America.

Yonhap wrote that the men, while escaping the scene, damaged other vehicles and prompted other police officers to respond to the incident.

Earlier reports indicated that he had fired at pedestrians with an air gun, but Yonhap News now states that BB gun is believed to have been used in the incident.

The wounded man was identified as a private first class, but nothing else has yet been released about his identity. The US has requested that his questioning be delayed until he has had a chance to recover from the injury.

“Although the details of this incident are unclear, we take all incidents involving US service members in the local community very seriously and will work closely with the Korean National Police as they continue their investigation,” said Brig. Gen. Chris Gentry, Eighth Army deputy commanding general in a statement, wrote Stars and Stripes news.

The statement added: “Eighth Army’s relationship with the Korean community is very important and we regret this unfortunate incident.”

The US Eight Army public affairs office added that alcohol doesn't appear to be involved in the incident.

Around 28,500 US soldiers are currently stationed in Korea, ostensibly to help secure the Korean War era truce between North and South, said the Sydney Morning Herald.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/south-korea/130303/us-soldier-shot-and-wounded-south-korean-polic