UPDATE | Thailand mass shooting: Gunman kills at least 34, including children in nursery attack

Thirty-four people were killed in Thailand on Thursday in a gun and knife attack at a daycare centre by a former policeman who killed his wife and child before turning his weapon on himself, police said.

The attacker opened fire on the childcare centre in Nong Bua Lam Phu province at about 12:30 (5:30 GMT) before fleeing the scene in a vehicle, the force said.

There were 22 children among the victims of the suspected attacker, who had been discharged from the service last year for drug-related reasons, district police official Chakkraphat Wichitvaidya told media.

READ | At least 13 dead, including children, in Russian school shooting

Police colonel Jakkapat Vijitraithaya, from the province where the attack happened, identified the gunman as Panya Khamrab, a police lieutenant colonel he said was dismissed from the force last year for drug use.

Jakkapat said there were 23 children among the dead, aged two to three years old.

The mass killing comes less than a month after a serving army officer shot dead two colleagues at a military training base in the capital Bangkok.

While Thailand has high rates of gun ownership, mass shootings are extremely rare.

But in the past year, there have been at least two other cases of shooting murders by serving soldiers, according to the Bangkok Post.

And in 2020, in one of the kingdom’s deadliest incidents in recent years, a soldier gunned down 29 people in a 17-hour rampage and wounded scores more before he was shot dead by commandos.

That mass shooting was linked to a debt dispute between gunman Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma and a senior officer, and the military top brass were at pains to portray the killer as a rogue soldier.


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