Thai army chief apologizes over mass shooting

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-11 19:06:49|Editor: Lu Hui
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BANGKOK, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Thai Army Chief Gen. Apirat Kongsompong on Tuesday apologized to the general public for the carnage done from the weekend mass shooting by a soldier in Thailand's northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima.

"I take all the blame and I promise to offer recruit to the Thai Army for the children of those killed in the shooting," said Gen. Apirat.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Gen. Apirat extended profound sorrow to the families of the victims of the massacre.

The army chief explained that the junior army soldier-turned-killer knew well where the military armories were placed in his work place; and therefore, it was not difficult for him to get access to the restricted weaponry.

From now on, stricter security measures will be adopted at all military's armories, he said.

The non-commissioned army officer, Jakrapanth Thomma on Saturday shot dead his supervisor and the mother-in-law of his supervisor before stealing guns and ammunition from the Surathampithak army camp and rushed off to a rampage, opened fire at innocent people indiscriminately, including shoppers at the Terminal 21 shopping mall.

Gen Apirat explained to the media that the motive behind the gunman's evil act was related to a dispute over a property deal with his commanding officer and a relative.

Apirat also said that he will set up a division to accept complaints from junior officers if they are taken advantage of by their superiors.

The complaints will be kept confidential, he added.

"No one wants this to happen. Don't blame the army. Don't blame soldiers. They could be discouraged. Blame me. I take all the blame for that," he said.

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