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At least 31 people killed in shooting spree in Thailand

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 (KUNA) -- Thai police declared Thursday that at least 31 people, most of them children, were killed in a shooting spree at a daycare center in the northern province of Nong Bua Lamphu.
The gunman massacred 23 children before he was able to escape in a white pickup truck, then later murdered his wife and child before committing suicide, Colonel of Thailand's Central Investigation Bureau Jakkapat Vijitraithaya said in a press statement.
Accordingly, a spokesman for the Thai government said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha asked all agencies to take the necessary measures and investigate the incident, while the motive behind the attack is not yet clear, however reports indicated that the alleged killer was a former policeman who was recently dismissed from his job.
Police have identified the shooter as Panya Khamrab, 34, who was due to appear in court tomorrow on charges in connection to drug use while working as a policeman, according to Thai media reports.
The rate of gun ownership in Thailand is high compared to some other countries in the region, although the official figures do not include the massive numbers of illegal weapons, several of which were brought across the porous borders of neighboring strife-torn countries. (end) aaq.lr