Thai soldier who killed 21 shot dead in shopping mall siege

Bangkok: Thai security forces on Sunday shot and killed a rogue soldier who went on a rampage in a shopping mall in a northeastern city, ending an overnight siege after a series of attacks that left at least 21 people dead.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul confirmed the soldier had been shot dead at the Terminal 21 mall in the city of Nakhon Ratchasima.

“Thank you police and army for ending the situation. Shooter shot dead!!!” Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in a post on Facebook. Police and the army also said he had been killed.

Police have identified the suspected shooter as 32-year-old soldier Jakrapanth Thomma.

The killings began at around 3 p.m. (0800 GMT) on Saturday when the soldier opened fire in a house before moving to an army camp and then to the mall, posting messages on Facebook as he went.

Thai media said the suspected shooter had worked at an army base close to Nakhon Ratchasima, which is about 250 km (155 miles) from the capital Bangkok. Before the attack, Jakrapanth had posted on his Facebook account that he was out for vengeance — but he did not say for what.

A provincial health official told a news conference that a total of 20 people had been killed and 42 wounded, revising down an earlier figure of 21 dead given by other officials.

 “We don’t know why he did this. It appears he went mad,” Defense Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanit said.

Overnight, soldiers and police stormed into the mall and escorted hundreds of trapped people to safety.

AlamulKhabar World