Thai security forces on Sunday killed a soldier after he carried out a shooting rampage that left at least 21 people dead, police and military sources said, APA reports quoting Reuters.
They said he had been killed at the shopping mall where he was holed up in the northeastern city of Nakhon Ratchasima.
“The police have killed the perpetrator and rescued eight hostages. Some were wounded,” said one of the security sources.
Both declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The killings began at around 3 p.m. (0800 GMT) on Saturday when the soldier opened fire in a house before moving to an army camp and then to the mall in Nakhon Ratchasima in northeastern Thailand.
A member of the Thai security forces was killed early on Sunday in an attempt to stop a soldier holed up in a shopping mall after a shooting rampage, bringing the total death toll to 21, the health minister said, APA reports quoting Reuters.
The killings began at around 3 p.m. (0800 GMT) on Saturday when the soldier opened fire in a house before moving to an army camp and then to the mall in Nakhon Ratchasima in northeastern Thailand, posting messages on Facebook as he went.
Early on Sunday, gunfire broke out at the mall as security forces tried to dislodge the soldier, identified by police as 32-year-old Jakrapanth Thomma.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters at the scene that one member of the security forces was killed and two wounded in the raid. As he spoke, a series of explosions and further shooting echoed from the Terminal 21 mall.
“We are doing our best. You can see that all our senior officers of the government have been assigned here,” Anutin told reporters. “All steps are being taken with precautions so that we can minimize the damage as much as we can.”
He would not answer questions about the security operation or the number of people who might be inside. More than 30 people have been wounded.
Police closed off streets around the mall and kept journalists behind a security cordon. One military officer said the gunman was holed up in the mall’s basement. He did not give his name as he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Thai media said the suspected shooter had worked at an army base close to Nakhon Ratchasima, which is about 250 km (155 miles) from the capital Bangkok. Before the attack, Jakrapanth had posted on his Facebook account that he was out for vengeance — but he did not say for what.