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Fatal shooting as Gunmen Opens Fire At Funeral

On Monday night, a woman running for mayor in the 28th March municipal election was killed and several others were wounded, when gunmen opened fire on people gathered for a funeral at a temple in Ratchaburi’s Photharam district.

The shooting occurred about 7 pm at Wat Tha Kham in Moo 7 village of tambon Sam Ruan. The mourners were seated in an open prayer hall.

Five people were hit by bullets.

Police called to the scene found the hall a mess, with toppled chairs, abandoned possessions and blood splatters.

Those wounded were Yingpan Kanket, kamnan of tambon Don Sai, and four candidates in the 28th March election for the municipal council of tambon Don Sai –  Varaporn Niamraksa, Nakhon Wanpen, Somthawil Srirat and Monthien Jaitham.

The wounded were admitted to Ratchaburi, Chet Samian, Bangkok-Ratchaburi and Mahachai hospitals.

Mrs Niamraksa, who was running for mayor of the municipality, was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said two spent .22 cartridges and one 11mm spent shell had been found at the scene.

Eyewitnesses said Mr Kanket, as sub-district chief, had been asked to light joss sticks and candles before a Buddha image to mark the opening of the ceremony. As he did so, there was a barrage of gunfire. Amid the ensuing panic, people were heard yelling out for everyone to lie flat on the floor.

When the gunfire ended, five people were found to have been hit.

Witnesses told police the shots were fired from behind the main Buddha image. The number of attackers was not known.

Police were still gathering evidence at the scene and questioning witnesses on Tuesday.

It was not clear if the shooting was linked to the municipal election.

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