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Massacre in Thailand: Ex-cop kills at least 38 people, including 24 children, his wife and son

38 people have been killed, including at least 24 children, by rifle shots fired by an ex-policeman at a kindergarten in the town of Uthai Sawan in Nong Bua Lam Phu, northeastern Thailand, police said.

The latest police statement on the incident, which occurred around noon local time, also reported 15 injured, eight of them in serious condition. About 30 children were at the center when the killer arrived, a lower number than usual, as heavy rains in the area had caused many children to stay home.

The suspect, a 34 years old policeman who was removed from the force following drug possession offenses, committed suicide after the attack, the Police reported on its Facebook account.

“We confirm that the gunman shot himself and is dead,” police said in an official Facebook profile, while rescue services said that before taking his own life he also killed his wife and child.

The alleged assailant shot with an automatic rifle those present at a children’s school located in Nongbua Lamphu province, which usually accommodates children between 2 and 5 years old, before fleeing in a van.

Images provided by the police show dozens of corpses lying in different rooms. Many of the injured, whose exact number is still unknown, have been taken to the Nong Bua Lamphu hospital, which has urgently requested that citizens donate blood of all types, according to local media.

Relatives of the victims rushed to the compound which was cordoned off by police, with many of them succumbing to despair, as seen in images and videos circulating on social media.

The country’s Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-ocha, has expressed his condolences to the families and has ordered the police chief to go to the site to coordinate the search and capture of the suspect, as reported by the newspaper ‘Thairath’.

Thai MFA Spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, tweeted “My deep condolences to the families of young victims of the shooting in Nongbualumpoo province, northeastern Thailand, such an unusual and saddened incident in our country.”

The causes of the incident are not known at the moment.

Mass shootings in Thailand are rare, but in 2020 a soldier killed at least 29 people and wounded 58 in a rampage that spanned several locations, including a military camp and a large shopping mall in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima.

Last month, a police officer shot dead two colleagues and wounded another at the Army Training Command War College in Bangkok.

-Thailand News (TN)

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