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PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — South Korea will prosecute the U.S. soldier accused of stabbing three people last month near Osan Air Base, officials said Wednesday.

South Korea’s Ministry of Justice gave the U.S. military formal notice Tuesday that it would take jurisdiction, said Army Maj. Vincent Mitchell, spokesman for the 2nd Infantry Division.

"Under the [status-of-forces agreement] they have the right to choose," said Mitchell. "So they’ve let us know that they wanted to exercise jurisdiction."

The accused soldier is 37-year-old Spc. Abdelkader Raoufi of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

Korean authorities plan to prosecute Raoufi on charges of attempted murder and inflicting bodily injury with a dangerous instrument in the March 6 incident, Mitchell said.

Authorities contend that Raoufi used a knife to attack a 27-year-old bar worker. Two local men who heard her screams and ran to help her also suffered multiple stab wounds, South Korean police said.

All three have been recovering steadily, police said, but the woman came close to death and for a time had been on life-support and in intensive care with lung and other injuries.

Mitchell said the Army assisted the woman in filing a claim and on March 25 paid her the equivalent of $4,788.68 in Korean won. The two men have not filed claims, he said.

"We regret the incident took place and our sympathies are with the victims involved," said Mitchell, who said he was expressing the views of the 2nd Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. John W. Morgan III.

"We take things of this nature very seriously and we’re going to do everything that we can to work with the Korean authorities in coming to a final conclusion on this case," Mitchell added.

Meanwhile, the accused soldier remains in pretrial confinement at the Eighth U.S. Army Confinement Facility at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Mitchell said.

One of the injured men, South Korean air force Capt. Cho Jae-hwi, underwent surgery to repair damaged glands and other facial injuries. But his wounds were so extensive that only partial repairs were possible, police said.

The other man, Lee Taek-woon, was recovering from knife wounds to the leg.

According to police, the soldier had a romantic interest in the woman but she was not interested in him.

As she left work at a club in the Shinjang Mall entertainment district sometime after midnight, the soldier allegedly attacked her, stabbing her repeatedly.

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