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Thailand: meditation after the killing in a manger, the king expected on the spot

The king and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha are due to travel to Nong Bua Lamphu province (north) during the day, placed under the sign of meditation in the country, where flags are at half mast in front of government buildings .

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Thailand: meditation after the killing in a manger, the king expected on the spot

The king and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha are due to travel to Nong Bua Lamphu province (north) during the day, placed under the sign of meditation in the country, where flags are at half mast in front of government buildings .

A former policeman armed with a 9mm pistol and a long knife killed 37 people, including 23 children, on Thursday during a murderous journey that began at a nursery in Na Klang district, around 12:30 p.m. (0630 GMT ).

"He broke down the front door with his foot, he came in and started slashing the heads of the children with a knife," Nanthicha Punchum, director of the nursery, told AFP.

The assailant then took to the road, and tried to knock down passers-by, until he got to his home, “not far” from the crèche, according to the police.

He then killed his wife and their little boy, before killing himself, in the early afternoon, before 3:00 p.m., about two hours after the start of the killing.

"There was blood everywhere" on the road, told AFP a witness, Paweena Purichan, 31, who was riding a motorcycle towards her shop when she saw the killer appear who "was trying to hit people".

During the night, the small white and purple coffins were transported to the morgue of a hospital in Udon Thani, in the neighboring province.

After this "horrible" massacre, Prayut Chan-O-Cha ordered the opening of an investigation and asked the police chief "to expedite the investigations."

The first elements provided paint the portrait of a 34-year-old assailant, plagued by drug addiction problems, which made him lose his job in the police last June.

- drug problems -

"He was expected to stand trial on Friday on his drug problem," national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapat said Thursday.

"What happened today (Thursday) will serve as a lesson to prevent it from happening again in the future," he insisted.

"I am deeply saddened by the hateful shooting at a nursery in Thailand. These places must be spaces where children are safe, and never targeted," United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted.

This is not the first time that Thailand has been bereaved by a massacre of this magnitude. In February 2020, a shooting perpetrated by an army officer left 29 dead, notably in a shopping center in Nakhon Ratchasima (east).

The shooter, a 31-year-old chief warrant officer, was shot dead by law enforcement after his murderous spree lasting almost 17 hours. He had taken action after an argument with a superior.

The Na Klang drama is a reminder of the extent of drug-related problems in the kingdom, where wholesale and sale prices have fallen to historic lows due to the abundance of supply, according to data released in 2021 by the UN.

The rural province of Nong Bua Lamphu lies near the "golden triangle" on the borders of Burma and Laos, considered for decades to be the central point of narcotics production in the region.

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