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Korat massacre – Shooter’s mother was unable to get into the shopping centre

The Thaiger

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Korat massacre – Shooter’s mother was unable to get into the shopping centre | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Special forces 'Hanuman' troops assemble outside Terminal 21 - Getty Images
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More information is now coming to light over some of the background operations at play during the Saturday evening search for a crazed gunman, now dead, who was responsible for the killing of at least 30 people and wounding 58 others. Some of the 30 or so people currently in hospital are reported to be in critical condition… the final toll remains fluid. While most fatalities happened at the crime scenes, two victims died later in hospital during surgery.

The gunman was shot dead by members of a special forces division called ‘Hanuman’ around 9am on Sunday morning. Police have now revealed that they tried multiple times to persuade the 32 year old who had already killed 29, to surrender. They even brought the gunman’s mother to the besieged shopping centre to talk to her son.

The mother, from the gunman’s hometown in Chaiyaphum Province, just to the north of Nakhon Ratchasima, was taken to an area near the Terminal 21 mall but she was unable to get inside, according to security officials, who were unable to decide about the woman’s safety if she was taken in.

The mother, whose name has been withheld, told officials there was little point in talking to her son “as he had depression and an extremely bad temper”.

Holed up inside the shopping centre, the 32 year old gunman had a HK33 assault rifle that he had stolen from his army base located just outside Korat. He also got his hands on 800 rounds of ammunition and two smaller pistols.

Major General Jirapob Puridet was the man leading the security operations inside the building.

“We had to make the move of confronting him. People who were trapped inside a freezing room and sent messages to us that the oxygen level was very low and they were suffocating.”

“So we had to risk to confront him face to face otherwise people who were trapped inside would die.”

“One officer was killed and three others injured during the ensuing confrontation. At certain points the gun firing was nonstop.”

It took several hours for the police to get full control of the situation. Although the 17 hour-long series of events had started around 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon, it took another six hours before officials had the shopping centre and surrounding areas in secure lockdown. During that time the deranged shooter had been live-streaming his rampage in real time. Horrified viewers shared the footage causing a security nightmare for police. They became acutely aware that online coverage of their movements outside and inside the shopping centre were being viewed by the gunman.

Inside the shopping centre, confused shoppers and workers also had to piece together the series of events from the emerging stream of social media and messages.

27 year old Suvanarat Jirattanasakul, told Reuters that the shooter was aiming to kill, there was no mercy.

“It was frightening because I could hear the occasional gunshot. We waited a long time for the police to come and help us, many hours.”

“The gunman was aiming for the heads,” said ‘Diaw’ on local Amarin TV. “He was shooting everywhere and his shots were very precise.”

Yesterday afternoon Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha informed media that the rampage was “sparked by an argument the gunman had at his base with another soldier over a land-selling commission fee”.

The prime minister also confirmed that the gunman had taken hostages during the shopping centre seige but didn’t go into detail about how many people were involved or what happened to them.

After shooting his commanding officer and a 68 year old woman, the gunman then shot a fellow officer at the army base. He then took the officer’s gun and shot at other soldiers. After collecting other guns, ammunition and stealing a 4-wheel drive military Humvee. After the shooter drove out of the back gate of the military base, he drove to a temple and then to the shopping mall, shooting civilians along the way.

Korat massacre - Shooter's mother was unable to get into the shopping centre | News by The ThaigerKorat massacre - Shooter's mother was unable to get into the shopping centre | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai

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A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Representational

A wild elephant killed an 80 year old man camping in Khao Yai National Park early this morning. Park officials believe the bull elephant was in musth, which is when the elephant has rise in reproductive hormones and becomes aggressive.

80 year old Prayot Jitbun was sleeping in his tent when the elephant attacked. Other nearby campers alerted park officials saying the elephant had walked around the Prayot’s car before becoming angry and stomping on his tent, then throwing the man into a tree.

Fresh fruit was inside the man’s car and park officials believe the smell of the fruit attracted the elephant. Park officials suspect the animal became angry and attacked when it couldn’t reach the fruit.

The wild elephant, known as “Phlai Due” had been fitted with a tracking collar earlier this month. The officials say this is the first person attacked by an elephant in the park this year and ensure it won’t happen again.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar

Maya Taylor

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Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

The north-eastern province of Roi Et has confirmed its first Covid-19 case since last month’s resurgence of the virus. Governor Chayan Sirimas says the patient is a female employee from a karaoke joint in the Sri Racha district of Chon Buri province, in the east of the country.

“She had close contact with another patient from Chon Buri province (her younger sister) who tested positive earlier on January 9. She then took a test on January 10 at Roi Et Hospital and found that she was also infected. Both patients have symptoms of coughing and sore throat with no fever.”

According to the Nation Thailand report, the travel history and timeline of the woman’s positive test is as follows:

January 1: She travelled with her sister and the sister’s husband from Sri Racha in Chon Buri to the Muang district of Roi Et. The journey was undertaken in a personal car.

January 4 – 6: The woman visited a local market while wearing a face mask.

January 5: Her sister and sister’s husband left Roi Et and returned to Chon Buri in their car.

January 7: The woman is contacted by Sri Racha health officials, who tell her she is “high risk”, after a customer at the karaoke business where she works has tested positive for the virus. The woman does not get tested that day, but her sister, also employed at the karaoke joint, is tested at Chon Buri hospital the next day.

January 9: The sister’s test result comes back positive.

January 10: The sister’s husband also tests positive. The woman then gets tested and is also confirmed as positive.

According to Sri Racha health officials, 10 employees from the karaoke business have tested positive for the virus. 9 family members who had close contact with the 2 sisters have all tested negative. There are 7 people who had close contact with the sister’s husband. Of those, 3 have tested negative and 4 are waiting for their results.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Schools and lottery market in Loei close after family tests positive for Covid-19

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Schools and lottery market in Loei close after family tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

Schools and a lottery market in the Northeastern province Loei were ordered to close after a family tested positive for Covid-19. The province is marked as a “yellow zone” under high surveillance with a total of 6 reported Covid-19 infections.

Schools will be temporarily closed from today until 24 January, while the lottery market will be closed from today onwards.

The family who tested positive are a 78 year old woman, a 13 year old 7th grad student, and a 6 year old kindergarten student. The provincial authority says the family all went to a school and the market lottery, resulting in the closure of schools and a lottery market today.

The cases were detected in a proactive testing campaign which tested more than 1,200 people. There are 35 people at “high risk” waiting for test results.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | CCSA

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