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8 Feb, 2020 12:59

Police & military operation underway in Thailand as soldier takes hostages, killing 30 and injuring 58 (VIDEOS)

Police & military operation underway in Thailand as soldier takes hostages, killing 30 and injuring 58 (VIDEOS)

A Thai soldier has killed at least 30 people in a mass shooting and injured 58 before taking hostages inside a shopping mall while taking selfies and livestreaming on social media.

LATEST: Thailand mall carnage. What we know so far

The man, who police identified as a junior army officer, opened fire in a shopping center in Korat, also known as Nakhon Ratchasima, in northeast Thailand. Before the attack he killed his commander and two others, stole weapons and ammunition and fled in a stolen Humvee.

Terminal 21 mall was full of Saturday shoppers when the attack occurred. A video posted to social media show people running inside the building and fleeing outside as multiple shots are fired. 

In another clip, a large fire burns near the building. The attacker fired at a cooking gas cylinder, according to the Bangkok Post.

The gunman took hostages on the fourth floor of the mall while many people were still stuck inside. Police urged them to hide in a safe place and to mute their mobile phones.

Before midnight, police said the mall had been secured, but apparently the gunman was not apprehended.

Gunshots were heard after police in special gear entered the building. More people were seen fleeing outside at night. One special forces serviceman was killed and another injured during the shooting overnight, Thairath TV reports.

Local media have reported that the shooter took selfies and livestreamed during the attack. One of the purported photos shows the suspect wearing a combat helmet and a face mask as he holds up an assault rifle.

Social media users posted what appear to be short clips of a livestream, with the suspect panning the camera to show the area around him. The gunman reportedly posted status updates on Facebook during his rampage, including “Should I surrender (give up)?” and “Well I stopped already.” Before carrying out the attacks, he posted an image of a pistol with bullets, captioning the photo: “It’s time to get excited.”

His Facebook page was shut down shortly after he began the attack.

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