Thailand: Thousands of monks hold mass prayer for shooting victims
February 16, 2020 | 10:03 AM
by DW
Supplied photo

As many as ten thousand Buddhist monks gathered on Saturday for mass prayer vigils to honor the 29 people killed in a shopping mall in Thailand.

Jakraphanth Thomma, a 32-year-old soldier, carried out the massacre on February 8, in what was the country's deadliest mass shooting.

The monks chanted and prayed below photos of the victims, close to the mall in Korat, a city about 260 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Bangkok.

The city's main square was turned into a sea of orange as the monks, wearing traditional robes, sat in several lines to pray.

Later, they were seen dressed in white walking in lines between large crowds of residents.

Many mourners spent the week laying floral wreaths in front of the mall in a public outpouring of grief and shock.

Last Saturday, the soldier killed his commanding officer and the officer's mother-in-law before stealing several automatic weapons from a military armory.

He proceeded to kill nine people at a Buddhist temple on his way to the shopping center in an 18-hour rampage.

In addition to the 29 killed, 58 people were injured in the shooting. Security forces later shot the attacker dead.

The alleged motive for the attack was a dispute over real estate.

In an apparent copycat incident on Friday, a man was taken into custody after he fired multiple shots into the air in central Bangkok.

No one was injured in the incident, which lasted more than six hours, in a residential neighborhood next to Chulalongkorn University.

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