Thailand Mass Shooting Kills 34 at Day-Care Center

In this mug shot released by the Thailand Criminal Investigations Bureau, CIB, a suspected assailant is shown in the attack in the town of Nongbua Lamphu, northern Thailand. (Thailand CIB via AP Photo)

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thirty-four people were killed in Thailand on Thursday in a mass shooting at a day-care center by a former policeman who killed his wife and child before shooting himself dead, police said.

There were 22 children among the victims of the suspected gunman, who police said had been discharged from the service for drug-related reasons. About 30 children were at the center when the gunman came in around lunchtime, district official Jidapa Boonsom told Reuters.

The man first shot four or five staff, including a teacher, Jidapa said. “At first people thought it was fireworks,” she added.

Earlier, police said a manhunt was underway for the shooter, and a government spokesman said the Prime Minister had alerted all agencies to catch the culprit.

Mass shootings are rare in Thailand, even though the rate of gun ownership is high compared with some other countries in the region, and illegal weapons are common.

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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