One Tourist Killed, Several Injured In Machine Gun Shootout At Bangkok Shopping Mall After Gang Rivalry

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A machine gun attack committed by a local Bangkok youth gang resulted in the death of one foreign tourist and serious injuries of at least four other individuals.

The assailants are still at large and the incident happened after a a dispute of rival gangs inside a snooker parlour nearby the location.

Thailand has seen several acts of violence in the past including terrorist attacks, and bombings in the south along with various violent killings each year.

You can access a news article in this incident from The Nation here.

A foreign tourist was fatally injured and two Thais and two other tourists hurt when a group of young men fired rifles at a rival gang near a Bangkok shopping mall Sunday night.

The shooting happened at 8.30pm on a soi behind the Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel where tourist coaches were parked.

Police said Gakhrejr D., 42, an Indian, died later in hospital. Initilly, police said Keovongsa T., 28, a Lao tourist, also died in hospital but police later said the Lao still survived. Another Indian tourist, Sharma D., 45, was injured along with two Thai men.

Pol Maj Gen Senit Samararn Samruajkit, commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 1, said three young men armed with rifles opened fire at their rivals following a dispute at a snooker parlour near the soi where the shooting took place.

Senit quoted witnesses as saying that they saw some 20 young men armed with pistols, knives and sticks running from the snooker parlour into the soi where three young men carrying rifles opened fire.

Senit said police have yet to investigate the type of rifles used but spent shells from the AK47 assault rile were found at the scene. …

the injured Indians belonged to a group of Indian tourists taken by coach to dine at the India Gate restaurant on the ground floor of the shopping mall.

After the dinner, the Indian tourists were given some time for shopping before the coach took them back to their hotel. Tourists who had finished their shopping returned to the car park on the soi to wait for their coach.

During the large scale political protests a few years ago the Thai government publicly offered to pay compensation if foreign tourists are injured as a result of these activities. I’d be surprised though if this provision is still in effect and extends to individual crime.

While Thailand is regarded as a relatively safe country to visit for tourists the circulation of guns and other weapons is a widespread issue. It’s not uncommon that even taxi drivers carry guns, knifes and in some cases even a machete (a tourist was killed by a taxi driver with such a machete a year or so ago after a fare dispute with the driver).

If you’re concerned about traveling to Thailand (or any country for that matter) it’s easy to check the travel warnings provided by your respective countries embassy and foreign ministries.

Here is the information for U.S citizens provided by the U.S. Embassy Bangkok

The British Home Office (access here) also warned their citizens.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Thailand. There were explosions in Bangkok in April and May 2017, multiple explosions and incidents in tourist areas across Thailand in August 2016, and a large explosion at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok in July 2015. Thai security authorities say they disrupted planned attacks in Bangkok in October 2016. The authorities have on a number of occasions warned of the possibility of attacks to coincide with symbolic dates or holidays. You should take care, particularly in public places.

This is quite blunt language regarding the security situation in the country.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t regard Thailand as being dangerous but it’s simply unnecessary to take extra risks when one can avoid it. That being said however there is something going on pretty much anywhere in the world these days and you really can’t be certain where to be safe – including at home. This could have happened anywhere as crime and illegal guns is a worldwide issue.

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