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Thursday
February 2020
10:56 AM IST
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Ishant is hitting good areas, Prithvi should follow instincts: Kohli hints on playing XI        PCB chief hints at Pakistan giving up Asia Cup hosting rights        First 5G handset in India likely to be priced at Rs 50,000        Coronavirus outbreak to hit global growth; to have limited impact on India: RBI Guv        Death toll from China virus surges past 2,000        Necessary to prevent statelessness when nationality laws are changed: UN chief        Maha CM visits Shivneri Fort on Shivaji''s birth anniversary        Can transport minister come to explain govt proposal for introducing EVs, asks SC        SC upheld right to protest but other citizens also have rights: Interlocutors at Shaheen Bagh        Won't rule out playing 2023 World Cup, says Taylor        Sachin Tendulkar wins Laureus Sporting Moment Award for 2011 WC triumph        Messi, Hamilton share Laureus World Sportsman of Year honour; Biles gets third award        Kerala tourism eyes robust growth in domestic tourist footfalls in 2020        RBI Governor says no reason to doubt govt will meet fiscal deficit targets        UK budget on March 11 as planned: new finance minister        Wuhan hospital director dies of coronavirus        Opening of Kartarpur Corridor practical proof of Pakistan's desire for peace, says UN chief        People of Delhi taught a lesson to BJP which it will remember for long time: Gehlot        Delhi court sends Sharjeel to judicial custody till Mar 3 in New Friends Colony anti-CAA violence case        Prashant Kishor questions Nitish Kumar's development in Bihar        
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International News
Thai city copes with sorrowful fallout from mass shooting
 
Nakhon Ratchasima: Authorities in northern Thailand began releasing bodies to relatives Monday after security forces cornered and killed a soldier who carried out the country's worst mass shooting in an hourslong siege at a shopping mall.

The soldier killed 29 people starting with his commanding officer in a stunning tragedy that began Saturday and ended Sunday morning when security forces shot dead the heavily armed attacker in Terminal 21 Korat, an airport-themed mall in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The gunman, Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth Thomma, 31, was infuriated at a land deal brokered by his commander's mother-in-law, as far as authorities have been able to determine. She was another of his victims.

The death toll surpassed Thailand's last major attack on civilians, a 2015 bombing at a shrine in Bangkok killing 20 people that was allegedly carried out by human traffickers in retaliation for a crackdown on their network.

Messages of sympathy for the latest tragedy were sent by several countries.

The U.S. Embassy said it stands with the people of Thailand, saddened by tragic events in Nakhon Ratchasima. More than 1,000 people mourned the victims Sunday night in a vigil led by Buddhist monks at the city's town square. They lit candles and chanted.

We are here today to pray in order to send the souls of those who die to heaven, and we ask the spirits to accept those souls. So those souls can be holy, be in heaven with goodness and beauty," said artist Suwanee Natewong.

Many of the 58 wounded are still in bad condition. The Public Health Ministry sent a mental health crisis team to help relatives of the deceased cope with their losses.

Survivors and victims' families at the city's hospitals recounted their ordeals.

Cpl. Korakot Ampanngeun said he had been ordered to block a road so no one could go toward the gunman.

So I was signaling to oncoming traffic, when I turned around and saw him. If I had not, I would not have survived, he recalled. "I tried to run and find somewhere to hide. But I could only take two steps and then I heard the sound 'bang.' My leg just went and I couldn't walk. A good Samaritan helped carry me away." High school student Nachote Chotiklang said he was in his mother's car as she passed the gunman's vehicle.

The assailant "got out of the car and fired into the window. At that, I ducked down and didn't do anything until I felt that car hit something. It hit a tree." When the teenager was asked what happened to his mother, Nachote shook his head. Another man explained that she had died.

Rachanon Kanchanamethi was riding a motorbike home when the gunman fired at him. The 13-year-old middle school student was his family's only child.

His father spoke at the first day of his son's Buddhist funeral.

"I don't want to lose him like this," Nuttawut Kanchanamethi said. "This is too sudden. We had plans for him, growing up. That's all. We didn't impose any expectations on him." Nuttawut paused for a long moment.

"I want to continue taking care of him, but I no longer have that opportunity," he said, breaking into sobs.

The bodies of security personnel began to be flown Monday morning to the capital, Bangkok, for funerals.

Nakhon Ratchasima was not prepared for killing on such a scale. The public hospital's lone forensic doctor is performing autopsies before the bodies are released to families for cremation, but families were told he can only do six per day, so some won't be able to retrieve their loved ones until Tuesday.


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