More than 30 people dead in mass shooting at day care center in Thailand

Jess Hardiman

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More than 30 people dead in mass shooting at day care center in Thailand

Featured Image Credit: Iain Masterton/SuperStock/Alamy

More than 30 people have been killed in a shooting at a childcare centre in north-west Thailand, police have confirmed.

Police Major General Achayon Kraithong said the gunman opened fire at the Nong Bua child development centre in the town of Nongbua Lamphu, Uthaisawan Na Klang district, early this afternoon (Thursday 6 October), before taking his own life after the attack.

While he confirmed 34 people had been killed, Kraithong said he had not more details at this stage.

Among the victims were 22 children, police said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the suspect was a former policeman, with local reports saying the officer had recently been dismissed from his job.

Thai media said the gunman had also used knives in his attack, and that he had fled the building before fatally shooting himself.

Nong Bua child development centre. Credit: Facebook
Nong Bua child development centre. Credit: Facebook

Earlier, police said a hunt was under way for the shooter, with a government spokesman saying Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had alerted all agencies to apprehend the suspect.

The government spokesman said statement: "The prime minister has expressed his condolences on the shooting incident which resulted in 30 deaths."

Reuters said mass shootings are 'rare' in Thailand, despite the high rate of gun ownership compared to other countries in South-East Asia, adding that illegal weapons are 'common'.

In 2020, a soldier who was angry about a property deal that went wrong ended up killing 29 people and wounding 57 across several locations.

The spree began when the soldier, named Jakraphanth Thomma, killed his commanding officer before stealing weapons from a military base.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha in 2021. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha in 2021. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

He then launched attacks on civilians in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima, posting updates on Facebook - at one point sharing a video of himself holding a rifle, saying: "Tired, I can barely move my fingers."

Soon after, Facebook took down the post - and Thomma's profile - saying in a statement: "Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this tragedy in Thailand.

"There is no place on Facebook for people who commit this kind of atrocity, nor do we allow people to praise or support this attack."

Thomma was later shot dead by security forces, with Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul posting on Facebook to thank the police and military for their efforts.

Prime Minister Chan-ocha said at the time: "It is unprecedented in Thailand, and I want this to be the last time this crisis happens."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, World News

Jess Hardiman
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