Thailand massacre: Funeral rites begin for victims of kindergarten mass shooting, stabbing



CNN

Buddhist funeral rites have begun in the grieving town of Uthai Sawan in northeastern Thailand, where families mourn the loss of children killed in a massacre at a daycare center.

Toys, flowers, milk bottles and sweets were placed next to the small child-sized coffins, many of which bore photographs of children killed in the attack, as mourners paid their respects to the victims during ceremonies on Sunday.

Monks led ceremonies at three temples in the city on Saturday, attended by families who prayed and gave spiritual offerings to the 36 people killed in the attack by a former policeman who also killed his wife and son.

Most of those who died were children who were sleeping when the former officer forced his way into the center with a knife and a gun and shot staff before entering the classrooms.

In northeastern Thailand, queues of mourners were seen outside temples on Sunday as hundreds gathered to pay their respects by lighting candles and offering food and toys.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and members of his cabinet also attended evening temple prayers.

Families previously shared their grief with CNN and shared fond memories of their children.

Oy Yodkhao, the grandmother of a four-year-old boy named Thawatchai Siphu, expressed her disbelief that someone could murder innocent children. “I couldn’t imagine there would be people like that,” Oy said. “I couldn’t imagine him being so cruel to children.”

Local media reported that temples in the province were unwilling to receive the gunman’s body and perform funeral rites, so it was cremated in another city, about 90 minutes away by car. The perpetrator killed himself after the attack.

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