Thai gunman who killed 26 shot dead

Updated: Feb 10, 2020, 10:33 IST | Agencies | Nakhon Ratchasima

"It is unprecedented in Thailand, and I want this to be the last time this crisis happens," he said outside a hospital where victims, including at least two undergoing brain surgery, were being treated

People comfort the relative of a victim of the mass shooting in Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima. Pic/AP
People comfort the relative of a victim of the mass shooting in Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima. Pic/AP

Nakhon Ratchasima: A Thai soldier who killed at least 26 people before being shot dead in a mall by commandos went on the rampage because of a debt dispute, the kingdom's premier said on Sunday, offering the first official speculation for the motive of an "unprecedented" shooting spree.

After a night, which seesawed between heavy exchanges of gunfire and terrifying dashes for mall exits by trapped shoppers, sharp-shooters brought an end to the 17-hour-ordeal when they killed the gunman on Sunday morning in Nakhon Ratchasima, also known as Korat. Twenty-six people including civilians — the youngest a 13-year-old boy — and security forces were killed by the rogue soldier, Thailand's prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha said.

"It is unprecedented in Thailand, and I want this to be the last time this crisis happens," he said outside a hospital where victims, including at least two undergoing brain surgery, were being treated.

Prayut, a gruff former army chief, blamed a "personal problem" over the sale of the house for the soldier, Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma's rampage, which began on Saturday afternoon near an army barracks and was for several hours relayed by the gunman via Facebook posts.

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