Thailand: Shock and sadness after yesterday’s massacre – 23 young children lost

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King Rama I, who is treated like a deity in the country, is expected this evening at a hospital in the area where the tragic incident happened

Thailand is shocked after yesterday’s massacre in a kindergarten, where a gunman killed 37 people, mostly small children.

King Rama I, who is treated like a deity in the country, is expected this evening at a hospital in the area where the incident happened, to meet with those injured in the attack, shortly after the visit of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

In the Nha Klang district, there is silence around the daycare center, broken by the sobs of the children’s families and the arrival of officials. A red carpet has been laid out so relatives can mourn and leave flowers at the scene of the attack.

Buarai Thanodong lost his two grandchildren aged three. “I can’t sleep, I couldn’t imagine that something like this could happen to my grandchildren,” he said, with his devastated daughter and the children’s mother by his side.

The ex-policeman, armed with a 9mm pistol and a large knife, killed 37 people yesterday, including 23 children, in a massacre that began at a daycare center in Nha Klang at around 12:30 (local time, 09:30 Greek time). .

“He broke the entrance door by kicking it, got in and started cutting off the children’s heads with a knife,” said the daycare director.

The attacker then drove off and tried to run over pedestrians with his car until he reached his home, which is “not far” from the daycare, police said.

Horrible carnage

There he killed his wife and their baby boy before killing himself shortly before 3:00 p.m., about two hours after the carnage began.

“There was blood everywhere” on the road, said an eyewitness who was passing by on her motorbike and saw the attacker “trying to run over people”.

During the night small white and purple coffins were taken to the mortuary of Udon Thani Hospital in the neighboring province.

After the horrific massacre, the prime minister asked for an investigation into the incident and for the police chief to “accelerate the investigations”.

Initial reports describe the attacker as a 34-year-old man with drug addiction problems who was fired by the police in June.

“We expected him to appear on Friday (today) for a trial for his drug problem,” said the head of Thailand’s national police.

“What happened today will be a lesson so that something similar does not happen again in the future,” he underlined.

“Drug Problems”

“I am deeply saddened by the horrific massacre at a Thai daycare center. These places should be places where children are safe and never targeted,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted.

This is not the first time that Thailand has been plunged into mourning due to a similar tragedy. In February 2020, an army officer killed 29 people, mostly in a shopping mall. The 31-year-old assailant had fallen dead from the fire of the security forces, after 17 hours. The reason for the massacre was a quarrel between him and his superior.

The tragedy in Nha Klang highlights the extent of the drug-related problems in Thailand, where drug prices have fallen to record lows due to high supply, according to UN figures for 2021.

Nong Bua Lubu province is located near the “golden triangle”, on the border between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, which for decades has been considered the main point of drug production in the region.

RES-EMP

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