(Bloomberg) -- An armed military guard at Taiwan’s Presidential Office killed himself while at his post Friday night, after which the office pledged to strengthen counseling services.

The private first class shot himself while on duty, Lin Yu-chan, a spokesperson for the Presidential Office, said in a statement. The soldier was with the military police’s 211th battalion, and identified only by the surname Ku.

The fatal incident occurred at around 9:36 p.m. local time, when the serviceman, who was in his 20s, shot himself in the head — suspected of suffering “emotional instability,” Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported, citing unidentified military officials. Other guards at adjacent posts immediately reported the shooting and called for medical assistance, the agency added.

The private first class was pronounced dead at a hospital at 10:25 p.m., according to CNA. President Tsai Ing-wen was briefed on the incident immediately after it occurred, said Lin. The military will cooperate with prosecutors on the investigation and strengthen psychological counseling among soldiers, he added.

It’s not the first time a Taiwanese soldier has committed suicide on duty at the Presidential Office. A private of the same battalion shot himself with his service rifle at the front gate in May 2012, when the current opposition party Kuomintang’s Ma Ying-jeou was president.

Tense Backdrop

Tsai is scheduled to turn the Presidential Office over after President-elect Lai Ching-te, her current vice president, takes the oath of office in May.

Lai has been strongly opposed by China’s government, with Beijing recently decrying the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s “atrocious behaviors” in the wake of Taiwan’s fatal expulsion of a Chinese fishing boat last month.

The Presidential Office Building was constructed during Japan’s colonial administration of the island in the early 1900s.

--With assistance from Debby Wu.

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