Thailand: 35 dead, 12 injured in mass-shooting at day-care centre; shooter takes own life after

34 people were killed, of which 23 were children, a local police official said on Thursday



File photo
File photo

By Agencies

Published: Thu 6 Oct 2022, 12:12 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Oct 2022, 2:29 PM

34 people were killed on Thursday in a mass shooting at a children's day-care centre in the town of Uthai Sawan, situated in the province of Nong Bua Lamphu, northeastern Thailand, a police spokesperson said.

The Daily News newspaper reported that after fleeing the scene of the attack, the assailant returned to his home, killed his wife and child, and then took his own life.

Victims included both children and adults, police said in a statement, adding that the gunman was an ex-police officer.

34 people were killed, of which 23 were children, a local police official said on Thursday. The official confirmed to Reuters that at least 12 people were injured as well.

A spokesperson for a regional public affairs office said that among those killed were 23 children, two teachers and one police officer.

"The shooter came in around lunch time and shot four or five officials at the childcare centre first," district official Jidapa Boonsom, who was working in a nearby office at the time, told Reuters, adding that among them was a teacher who was eight months pregnant.

"At first people thought it was fireworks," she said.

The gunman then forced his way into a locked room where children were sleeping, Jidapa said, to kill children there with a knife.

According to Thai media reports, the gunman also used knives in the attack, after which he fled the building.

Photographs showed at least two bodies on the floor of the centre, covered in white sheets.

Earlier, police said a manhunt was under way for the shooter, and a government spokesman said the prime minister had alerted all agencies to apprehend the culprit.

Several media outlets identified the assailant as a former police lieutenant colonel from the region. He had been discharged from the service last year for drug-related reasons, district police official Chakkraphat Wichitvaidya told media.

The rate of gun ownership in Thailand is high compared with some other countries in the region, but official figures do not include huge numbers of illegal weapons, many of which have been brought in across porous borders over the years from strife-torn neighbours.

Mass shootings are rare but in 2020, a soldier, angry over a property deal gone sour, killed at least 29 people and wounded 57, in a rampage that spanned four locations.

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