SEOUL — Combined Forces Commander U.S. Army Gen. B.B. Bell expressed his condolences for the loss of five South Korean soldiers killed in a traffic accident Thursday, according to a Friday military news release.

“All of Korea is saddened by this tragedy,” Bell stated in the release. “On behalf of all CFC service members, I express our deepest sympathies and my personal condolences to the families.”

According to Korean news reports, five soldiers were killed and two injured when their military truck veered off a road in Changwon, almost 300 miles southeast of Seoul. The truck fell about 16 feet down a steep hill inside a South Korean military compound, according to local reports.

The Joongang Daily reported those killed as corporals Kim Ji-cheol, Min Gi-hong, Song Min-seop, Lee U-hyeon and Hwang Sun-yong. The Joongang also reported that Sgt. Kim Tae-gyu and Pvt. Lee Ji-u were injured.

“We mourn the loss of our brave comrades and we acknowledge the sacrifice they have made in defense of freedom,” Bell was quoted in the release as saying.

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