The Weekend Leader - Buddhist monks lead prayer vigils for Thai mall victims

Buddhist monks lead prayer vigils for Thai mall victims



Thousands of Buddhist monks across Thailand on Saturday led prayer vigils to honour the 29 people who were killed in a mass shooting incident in a mall last week, deemed as the nation's deadliest.

Public prayer ceremonies were held on Saturday, exactly a week after Sgt. Jakrapanth Thomma killed 29 people, most at the Terminal 21 shopping mall in Nakhon Ratchasima, before he was shot dead by police the following day, the BBC reported.

Floral tributes were laid outside the Terminal 21 shopping centre, which reopened to the public on Thursday.

According to authorities, Jakrapanth began his attack on the afternoon of February 8 when he shot his military superior and then his mother-in-law, Efe news reported.

He drove to the military base where he was stationed in Nakhon Ratchasima, some 259 km northeast of Bangkok, where he stole several automatic weapons.

He then assailant proceeded to open fire in the city's streets and later fired indiscriminately on shoppers at the mall.

Jakrapanth was shot dead by the police on Sunday morning, some 18 hours after he launched his deadly rampage.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said a dispute over a property deal appeared to be the motive for the attack, the BBC reported.

He described the shooting, in which 57 people were also injured, as "unprecedented" for Thailand. - IANS

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