Thu, Dec 13, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Police arrest suspect over death of S Korean marine


South Korean police arrested a suspect yesterday in a deadly attack on two marines that left one of the soldiers dead and sparked a nationwide manhunt.

The chief of Incheon Metropolitan Police, Kim Chul-joo, said in a televised announcement that the suspect is a 35-year-old former soldier.

The suspect was caught near a movie theater in downtown Seoul, and there was a minor scuffle with detectives, said Chang Kwang, the head of a Seoul police station.

The arrest came hours after police found the weapons the suspect stole from the marines in the attack -- a K2 rifle, 75 rounds of ammunition, a hand grenade and six rounds of ammunition for a grenade launcher.

The motive of the crime was not immediately clear, Chang said. The suspect will be handed over to the Incheon Metropolitan Police Agency.

The suspect struck two marines with his car last week on Ganghwa Island in Incheon, west of Seoul, killing one of them.

The man snatched the rifle and ammunition before fleeing, touching off a massive manhunt.

Police recovered the weapons after they found a letter from the suspect saying he left the arms near a gas station in Jangseong, some 300km southwest of Seoul.

Other media reported that the letter was discovered in the southern port city of Pusan.

"I did not have an intention to kill," the suspect wrote, according to YTN news channel.

The attack had raised fears that the weapons could be used against officials or candidates in next week's presidential vote.

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