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Soldier kills 26 in bloodiest mass shooting in Thailand

The solider was a sharp shooter and had taken special courses on how to carry out attacks, including how to plan ambushes.
Credit: AP
A relative of a missing person waits outside the emergency room where victims of the mass shooting are being treated in Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (AP)

Thailand's prime minister says 27 people are dead, including the gunman who carried out the bloodiest mass shooting in the country's history. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says 57 others were wounded in the 16-hour rampage in Nakhon Ratchasima, a hub for Thailand's relatively poorer and rural northeastern region. 

Authorities say a soldier angry over a financial dispute was behind the killings. Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth Thomma was fatally shot Sunday morning in the busy shopping mall where he was holed up overnight. Videos taken outside the mall showed people diving for cover as shots rang out at mid-afternoon Saturday. Many were killed outside the mall, some in cars, others while walking.  

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said “This incident was unprecedented in Thailand,” as he spoke to reporters, "I hope this is the only one and the last incident, and that it never happens again. No one wants this to happen. It could be because of this person’s mental health in this particular moment.”  

RELATED: Gunman who killed 21 people in rampage shot dead inside Thailand mall

The Associated Press reported that video showed many taking cover as shots were heard mid-afternoon Saturday. Many people were killed outside the mall, some in cars and others while walking by. 

As Reuters reports, the solider was a sharp shooter and had taken special courses on how to carry out attacks, including how to plan ambushes. The killings started at 3 p.m. local time Saturday when the soldier opened fire on a house, and then went to an army camp where he drove a stolen Humvee to the mall.