11 July 2024

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has released a statement, condemning the mass shooting in Thailand’s Nong Bua Lam Phu province earlier today (Thursday), in which 37 people, mostly young children, were killed.

UNICEF stated that they are “saddened” and “shocked” by the attack and that it condemns all forms of violence against children.

“No child should be a target of or witness to violence anywhere, anytime,” the statement reads. “Early childhood development centres, schools and all learning spaces must be safe havens for young children to learn, play and grow during their most critical years.”

UNICEF also offered their condolences to the victims’ families and urged the public and the media to refrain from sharing photos related to the attack, out of respect for the families’ grief.

Many Thais took to social media, using the Thai hashtag “Mass Shooting in Nong Bua Lam Phu”, to condemn the attack and to offer their condolences to the victims’ families.

A number of world leaders have also expressed shock over the attack.

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss tweeted “I am shocked to hear of the horrific events in Thailand this morning. My thoughts are with all those affected and the first responders. The UK stands with the Thai people at this terrible time.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted “It’s impossible to comprehend the heartbreak of this horrific news from Thailand. All Australians send their love and condolences.”

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, tweeted “My deep condolences to the families of the young victims of the shooting in Nong Bua Lam Phu province, north-eastern Thailand. Such an unusual and saddening incident in our country.”

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt posted a message on his Facebook and Twitter, which translates as “Losing your children is the harshest tragedy for all parents. I would like to offer my condolences to all families of the victims and I would like to encourage every one of us in getting through this horrific tragedy”.

Earlier today, a gunman opened fire at a nursery and fired randomly at passers-by as he fled the scene. The gunman latercommitted suicide in his home, after murdering his wife and son. Pol Maj Gen Paisal Luesomboon, deputy commander of Region 4 Police, told Thai PBS in a phone interview that the gunman was apparently under the influence of drugs.