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Thai soldier killed by security forces after 17 hour shooting rampage – 26 others killed

The Thaiger

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Thai soldier killed by security forces after 17 hour shooting rampage – 26 others killed | The Thaiger
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A Saturday afternoon bloodbath by a crazed Thai army soldier in a crowded shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, north east Thailand, came to a predictable end when the elite ‘Hanuman’ squad cornered and shot the gunman around 9am this morning. It followed many hours of tense negotiations interspersed with gunfire. The gunman’s death ended 17 hours of random shootings and the deaths of 27 people (including the gunman). The entire incident caused by an aggrieved 32 year old soldier whose sole motive, at this stage, appeared to be a disagreement over money with his commanding officer.

The argument with his commander, 48 year old Col. Anantharot Krasae, and his subsequent shooting around 3.30pm yesterday afternoon, set up a train of unfortunate events that would eventually lead to the death of a reported 26 innocent lives and a trail of 57 wounded Korat citizens.

The identified soldier, Sgt Maj Jakrapanth Thomma, who acted alone as he set about on his shooting spree, started by first killing his commanding officer at the 22nd Ammunition Battalion, and then a 65 year old woman, named as Anong Mitrchan.

He then attacked a guard at the Surathampithak army camp, shooting the soldier and seizing his HK attack rifle. He then grabbed a cache of weapons including rapid fire weapons, ammunition, grenades and a Humvee 4-wheel drive. He was clad in camouflage gear and a helmet.

In what appears to be a spontaneous and unplanned series of events, he then drove out of the barrack’s back gate and headed to the Wat Pa Satharam, a temple on the outskirts of downtown Korat, where he killed and injured guards who tried to stop him.

Hey headed to the Terminal 21 shopping centre, in the middle of Korat, a drive of some 14 kilometres, shooting people along the way. When he got to the shopping mall, he casually strolled into the building firing indiscriminately at hundreds of shoppers and mall staff.

In the following hours, before the Bangkok-based Hanuman special operations squad arrived by helicopter, he moved around the seven floors of the shopping centre, taking hostages and shooting people at random. People hid wherever they could.

Facebook unwittingly became one of the shooter’s weapons as the gunman live-streamed his crazed assault. Facebook, after being contacted by the Department of Digital Technologies, took down the streams and his many posts cataloguing the murderous rampage interspersed with a string of random comments.

“Nobody can avoid death”

“Should I surrender?”

“Oh shit, I’ve got cramps in my hand.”

“Being rich from taking advantage of others, do they think they can use money in hell?”

The sound of sporadic gunfire kept peppering the silence around the Terminal well into the morning. Mall workers and shoppers, trapped inside when he entered the building, crawled out from fire exits and glass entrances, staying low to avoid bullets. They kept escaping in small groups throughout the morning.

When police and army specialists finally located the gunman they attempted to negotiate with the man, but found their words returned with gunfire. A policeman was killed in the exchange of shots.

A final assault began this morning and police confirmed that the gunman was shot dead at 9am. Rescue workers then rushed into the building where they discovered the dead and escorted the injured and others out of the building to safety. Eight hostages were rescued when he was eventually killed – some were among the list of injured people.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, kept abreast of the situation throughout, announced that there were 27 dead and 57 injured. He announced that the casualties included 25 citizens, a policeman and the 32 year old gunman.

The mass shooting is the second shopping centre shooting in Thailand this year. On January 9, a masked gunman (a local school principal) fatally shot 3 people, including a 2 year old boy, injuring another 4, while he robbed a gold shop in the city centre of Lop Buri province. That man was arrested alive and awaits trial but has allegedly confessed to his crimes.

Thai soldier killed by security forces after 17 hour shooting rampage - 26 others killed | News by The Thaiger

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Crime

Bangkok cops bust online gun dealers

Greeley Pulitzer

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Bangkok cops bust online gun dealers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Police pose with seven firearms, 221 rounds of ammunition and 38 gun parts confiscated in raids this week - Chiang Rai Times

The chief of the Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau told a media briefing yesterday that officers have arrested six men and two women for selling firearms on Thai social media. They seized seven guns, ammunition and gun components. Police initially arrested Pairoh Chanchom for selling firearms without a licence. A subsequent, lengthy investigation led to raids on several premises and the arrest of seven accomplices.

Also arrested were 34 year old Thaweephan Jit-aree; 28 year old Saksid Kerdmanee; Suriyan Yodsaen, aged 38; 24 year old Kamphon Wongsriphuek; 28 year old Raen Senaphan, and two women; Intheera Thananwarawong, age 43 and 57 year old Uraiwan Krodsui. Officers seized seven firearms, 221 rounds of ammunition and also 38 gun parts. The suspects are charged with colluding in the illegal possession and sale of firearms and ammunition.

Police Major General Samran Nuanma, chief of Patrol and Special Operations Division 191, urges the public to call the 191 hotline if they have any information about unlawful activities on social media.

According to Gunpolicy.org of the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, Thailand has about 10 million privately owned firearms or one for about every seven citizens. Of those, they estimate about 4 million are illegal.

“I can’t say whether Thailand has a gun problem, but it certainly has a gun culture,” says Michael Picard, GunPolicy.org’s research director.

“Guns are idolized as symbols of power and privilege, as they are expensive and not easy to legally obtain.”

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Crime

4 Uzbek women rescued from human traffickers in Pattaya

Greeley Pulitzer

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4 Uzbek women rescued from human traffickers in Pattaya | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Four women from Uzbekistan were rescued from a Pattaya condo yesterday - The Pattaya News

Four Uzbek women were rescued in Pattaya yesterday by Uzbekistan embassy officials and Chon Buri Provincial Police after allegedly falling victim to a human trafficking scam. A team of police raided a condominium in South Pattaya near the entrance of Phra Tamnak hill.

See the video version of this story HERE:

The raid comes after Chon Buri police learned from Uzbekistan’s embassy that an Uzbek woman was tricked into coming to Pattaya with the offer of a high paying job, but upon arriving discovered that the work was not as described and she was essentially held against her will. The Embassy was alerted to the woman’s plight by a concerned relative. Police did not disclose the exact nature of the work.

One of the women told police that she had been offered “a lot of money” for working in Pattaya but she didn’t receive the cash and was being held against her will. Her name is being withheld.

A total of four Uzbek women were found in the condominium, including the woman who had come to the attention of the Uzbekistan embassy. All were rescued and will return home with the help of the embassy.

Chon Buri police are continuing their investigation and looking into the individuals who lured the women to Pattaya and offered the alleged employment.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Chinese man found bound, dead in suitcase in northern Thailand had visited Pattaya

Greeley Pulitzer

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Chinese man found bound, dead in suitcase in northern Thailand had visited Pattaya | The Thaiger
PHOTO" Police retrieve the body of a Chinese man found bound and stuffeed in to a suitcase in Kamphaeng Phet province - The Pattaya News

The body of a Chinese man, with arms and legs bound, stuffed into a suitcase, has washed up on a sandbank in the Ping River in northern Thailand’s Kamphaeng Phet province. The body was doubled over and the ankles were tied with plastic cable ties. Red rope encircled the arms and legs.

Police believe the man was 30 year old Jun Wang, who had arrived on February 12 with a group of fifteen other Chinese nationals who visited Pattaya. The remainder of the group left the country on February 14, but Jun stayed on.

Police are investigating the connections the man had with the group and his reported residence in Pattaya.

A one kilometre stretch of the river was searched for an hour for additional clues.

An autopsy is being carried out at a forensics center in a hospital in Phitsanulok province and the cause of death is expected to be announced soon.

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | Thai Rath

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