Thai soldier kills at least 17 in mass shooting

BANGKOK (AFP) – A Thai soldier remained holed up in a shopping mall yesterday after gunning down at least 17 people, emergency services said, in an attack relayed through Facebook posts.

The attack in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima began late in the afternoon at an army barracks, police told AFP.

Three people were killed – among them at least one soldier – when Sergeant-Major Jakrapanth Thomma opened fire.

“He stole an army vehicle and drove into the town centre,” police Lieutenant-Colonel Mongkol Kuptasiri.

Local media reported the gunman seized weapons from the army arsenal before embarking on a shooting spree in the centre of the town. In a fast-moving incident, authorities could not confirm local media reports the gunman had taken up to 16 hostages.

There were “17 deaths, 14 wounded” yesterday, said an unnamed spokesperson from Bangkok’s Erawan Centre – the dispatch centre for emergency services across the country.