Many children among 35 dead after attack at Thailand daycare centre

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Many Children Among 35 Dead After Attack At Thailand Daycare Centre Many Children Among 35 Dead After Attack At Thailand Daycare Centre
A distraught woman is comforted after the daycentre attack in the town of Nongbua Lamphu, north eastern Thailand
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By Associated Press Reporters

A former police officer killed at least 24 children and 11 adults in a gun and knife attack that began at a childcare centre in Thailand on Thursday, authorities said.

The assailant fled the first scene, shooting from his car as he drove home, where he killed his wife and child and taking his own life.

Photos and videos of the daycare centre posted online showed the floor of one room smeared with blood and sleeping mats scattered about. Alphabet pictures and other colourful decorations adorned the walls.

A distraught woman is led away from the scene of the attack at a daycare centre in the town of Nongbua Lamphu in north-eastern Thailand (Mungkorn Sriboonreung Rescue Group/AP)

In videos from the scene in the town of Nongbua Lamphu, frantic family members could be heard weeping outside the building. Ambulances stood by as police and medical workers walked around.

Authorities identified the assailant as a former police officer and said he entered the childcare centre in the early afternoon.

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Twenty-two children and two adults were killed in the building before the assailant fled, according to a police statement. But he continued to shoot people from his car, police Major General Paisal Luesomboon told the Associated Press.

A mugshot released by the Thailand Criminal Investigations Bureau of the suspect in the attack at a childcare centre in Nongbua Lamphu (Thailand CIB/AP)

After arriving home, he killed his wife and child and then himself, police said.

Officers said he killed another two children and nine adults outside the childcare centre.

Firearms-related deaths in Thailand are much lower than in countries like the United States and Brazil, but higher than in countries like Japan and Singapore that have strict gun control laws.

The rate of firearms-related deaths in 2019 was about four per 100,000, compared with about 11 per 100,000 in the US and nearly 23 per 100,000 in Brazil.

An ambulance at the scene of the attack (TPBS/AP)

Last month, a clerk shot co-workers at Thailand’s Army War College in Bangkok, killing two and wounding another before he was arrested.

The country’s previous worst mass shooting involved a disgruntled soldier who opened fire in and around a mall in the north-eastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima in 2020, killing 29 people and holding off security forces for some 16 hours before eventually being killed by them.

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