Thailand attack: Country mourns after 37 killed, mostly children – Capital Radio Malawi
22 June, 2024

Thailand attack: Country mourns after 37 killed, mostly children

Thailand is mourning a horrific gun and knife attack at a childcare centre in the north-east that left 37 people, including 23 children, dead.

Parents gathered outside the centre on Friday morning, weeping and clutching their children’s toys.

A former policeman had stormed the building on Thursday, killing children as young as two as they slept.

Flags across Thailand are flying at half-mast as a devastated nation grapples with the tragedy.

Police say the 34-year-old attacker killed himself and his family after a manhunt. The motive for the attack is not yet known. But police said the attacker was fired from his job in June for drug use.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, and Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, together with the Queen, are expected to visit the community in Nong Bua Lamphu province later on Friday.

Overnight, pink and white coffins adorned with gold, bearing the bodies of the children, were brought to a hospital morgue in Udon Thani and laid out in rows.

a victims parent filled with grief

Rescue workers had earlier brought the victims’ bodies to the police station, where families of the dead had gathered. Distraught relatives had also waited outside the daycare centre well into the night.

Police said the armed attacker broke into the building just after lunch time on Thursday, shooting his way past a teacher and parent outside.

Witnesses said he first shot staff – including a teacher who was eight-months pregnant- before forcing his way past teachers into a room where children were napping.

Police said he stabbed most of his victims before fleeing.

Headteacher Nanticha Panchum told the BBC she had just sent the children off for their nap when she heard gunshots.

Usually the centre looked after 92 children on site but because of poor weather and a bus breakdown, there were only 24 there at the time.

Only one child survived, Ms Nanticha said.

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