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Mass murder at childcare centre, 34 confirmed slain

The Central Investigation Bureau released this photo of former Pol Cpl Panya Khamrab,  after he killed dozens of people at a childcare centre in Na Klang district of Nong Bua Lamphu province on Thursday.

Thirty-four people were confirmed killed, most of them children, by a disgraced former policeman with a gun who barged into a child development centre in Nong Bua Lamphu province and opened fire on Thursday afternoon.

Deputy national police chief Pol Lt Gen Torsak Sukwimol released early details.

He said 34 people were confirmed killed, 22 of them children, when former Pol Cpl Panya Khamrab rampaged through a childcare centre operated by the Uthai Sawan tambon administration organisation in Na Klang district.

At least another 12 people were injured, eight of them seriously, he said.

The shooting began around 12.10pm. The gunman’s motive for the massacre was unknown.

Police said former Pol Cpl Panya, 34, was expelled from the police force on June 15 this year for possession of methamphetamine pills. The decision was retroactive to Jan 20, the day he was arrested and confessed to the charges.

The gunman fled the scene in his pickup after the carnage.

The Central Investigation Bureau posted on its Facebook page that the gunman had later shot himself dead.

Media reports said his wife and child were among those slain.

Na Klang police posted a Facebook message that Nong Bua Lamphu Hospital urgently needed blood donations for the people wounded by the gunman .

National police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas expressed condolences to the families of the victims. Thursday’s rampage was the worst mass shooting in the country since a soldier opened fire at the Terminal 21 shopping mall and other locations in Nakhon Ratchasima on Feb 8, 2020. He killed 29 people and wounded 58 others before being shot dead by police 18 hours after the incident.

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