Thailand in mourning after children killed in mass stabbing and shooting

3 months ago 19

Thailand was successful mourning connected Friday aft 37 radical were killed, astir of them young children, successful a brutal weapon and weapon onslaught astatine a preschool centre successful the country’s northeast.

The attacker, a erstwhile constabulary officer, opened occurrence and stabbed children arsenic they slept astatine the centre successful Na Klang territory successful Nong Bua Lamphu state astatine astir noon connected Thursday, constabulary and witnesses said.

Former policeman Panya Khamrab, who is believed to person  killed astatine  slightest  30 radical   successful  a nursery successful  the bluish   Thai state  of Nong Bua Lam Phu.
Police said the perpetrator was a erstwhile constabulary officer. Photograph: THAILAND’S CENTRAL INVESTIGATION/AFP/ Getty Images

As helium near the nursery the attacker drove his car towards and changeable astatine bystanders past returned home, wherever helium changeable himself, his woman and his child.

The Thai authorities ordered each Thai flags to beryllium lowered to fractional mast connected Friday, portion premier curate Prayuth Chan-ocha was expected to sojourn the country successful the morning.

“This shouldn’t happen,” helium said connected Thursday. “I consciousness heavy sadness toward the victims and their relatives.”

On Thursday night, pinkish and achromatic coffins adorned with golden and bearing the bodies of the 22 children were driven distant successful the darkness.

Rescue workers put  coffins containing the assemblage  of victims.
Rescue workers put coffins containing the assemblage of victims. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

“All Thai people, and each radical astir the satellite who cognize astir this … volition consciousness truthful depressed and saddened,” said Thailand’s lawman premier minister, Anutin Charnvirakul.

Some household members of those killed successful the onslaught were inactive astatine the country of the rampage precocious into the evening. Mental wellness workers sat with them, reported Thai TBS television.

A teacher told the broadcaster that the assailant got retired of a car and instantly changeable a antheral eating luncheon outside, past fired much shots. When the attacker paused to reload, the teacher had an accidental to tally inside.

“I ran to the back, the children were asleep,” said the young woman, who did not springiness her name, choking backmost her words. “The children were 2 oregon 3 years old.”

Another witnesser said unit astatine the time attraction centre had locked the door, but the fishy changeable his mode in.

“The teacher who died, she had a kid successful her arms,” the witness, whose sanction wasn’t given, told Thailand’s Kom Chad Luek television. “I didn’t deliberation helium would termination children, but helium changeable astatine the doorway and changeable close done it.”

At slightest 10 radical were wounded, including six critically, constabulary spokesperson Archayon Kraithong said.

A time  attraction   halfway  sits bare  a time  aft  it was attacked by a lone assailant successful  the municipality  of Nongbua Lamphu, northbound  eastbound   Thailand, aboriginal  Friday.
The time attraction centre sits bare a time aft it was attacked. Photograph: Sakchai Lalit/AP

Mass shootings are uncommon successful Thailand, nevertheless weapon ownership rates are high. The onslaught comes 2 years aft a wide shooting astatine a buying promenade successful Nakhon Ratchasima, which was carried retired by a worker aggravated astatine his superiors.

In an editorial connected Friday, the Bangkok Post said: “Both cases beg questions astir the recruitment process employed by the service and the Royal Thai Police (RTP).”

“Above all, radical volition privation to cognize however the RTP hired this man, who reportedly admitted to his superior that helium had been taking narcotics since helium was a teenager. Moreover, helium had been punished for atrocious behaviour connected respective occasions.”

Police identified the attacker arsenic Panya Khamrab, a 34-year-old erstwhile constabulary lieutenant colonel who had been dismissed from the unit since January for methamphetamine possession, and officially fired successful June. He had appeared successful tribunal earlier connected Thursday connected a drugs complaint and was owed to look again connected Friday.

Officials said the results of an autopsy would find whether oregon not helium had taken drugs anterior to the attack. “Primarily, we judge that it’s due to the fact that of the drugs and the accent [of his tribunal appearance]”, said Police main Damrongsak Kittiprapat.

Politicians crossed the satellite person offered their condolences, including British premier curate Liz Truss and Australian premier curate Anthony Albanese.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “I’m profoundly saddened by the heinous shooting astatine a childcare centre successful Thailand. Learning centres should beryllium spaces wherever children consciousness safe, ne'er targeted. My condolences to the victims’ loved ones & the radical of Thailand.”