MOSCOW — The Russian military says a soldier has opened fire at other servicemen during drills, shooting three of them dead and wounding two others.

The Defense Ministry said Friday that the shooting happened during nighttime practice shooting at a firing range in the far-eastern Amur region. It said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies the soldier fired his Kalashnikov rifle at other soldiers waiting to have target practice, and then fled.

The ministry said a search for the soldier is now underway. Local authorities in the town of Belogorsk where the shooting happened said security around the area has been tightened amid the manhunt.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has sent a commission to investigate the shooting.