By Enyichukwu Enemanna
A 34-year-old former police officer has shot and killed at least 30 people, including children, at a nursery in northeast Thailand.
He also killed his wife and child before shooting himself dead, police source said.
Thai police earlier named the gunman as Panya Kamrab who they said fled the pre-school daycare centre in a white pickup truck.
Police said that Kamrab was sacked from the regional force last year for drug-related reasons, according to Reuters.
The attack reportedly took place at around midday local time on Thursday.
At least 23 children, two teachers and one police officer were among the victims in Nong Bua Lamphu, a small town near the border of Laos, authorities said.
A spokesperson for a regional public affairs office said among those confirmed dead so far include, 23 children, two teachers and one police officer.
The town’s hospital wrote on Facebook that it urgently needed blood donations after the incident.
Around 30 children were at the daycare centre when the gunman entered at around lunchtime, district official Jidapa Boonsom told Reuters.
“At first people thought it was fireworks,” she added.
Gun ownership rates in Thailand are high compared to other countries in the region but official figures do not include huge numbers of illegal weapons.
Mass shootings are rare, but in 2020, a soldier angry over a property deal gone sour, killed at least 29 people and wounded 57 in a rampage that spanned four locations.