UN children’s agency expresses ‘shock, sadness, condolences’ over nursery massacre


The United Nations children’s agency, Unicef, has joined foreign embassies in offering condolences over the massacre in Nong Bua Lamphu province on Thursday.

Unicef said it was “saddened and shocked by the tragic shooting incident”, which claimed at least 38 lives, most of them young children at a nursery in the Northeast province.

“Unicef condemns all forms of violence against children. No child should be a target or witness of violence anywhere, anytime,” the agency said in a statement.

“Early childhood development centres, schools and all learning spaces must be safe havens for young children to learn, play and grow during their most critical years.”

Unicef also offered condolences to the victims’ families and urged the public and media to refrain from sharing photos of the attack out of respect for the grieving families.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was shocked and saddened by the horrific massacre, according to his spokesperson.

"The secretary-general extends his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes those injured a speedy recovery," Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) also expressed deep condolences to the victims’ families.

“Attacks on schools, students and educators, are attacks on rights to education”, the agency tweeted. “No one should be a target.”

A message from UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, posted on Facebook by the British Embassy in Bangkok on Thursday, said: “I am shocked to hear of the horrific events in Thailand this morning. My thoughts are with all those affected and the first responders. The UK stands with the Thai people at this terrible time.”

UN children’s agency expresses ‘shock, sadness, condolences’ over nursery massacre

The Australian Embassy in Thailand also posted a Twitter message sent by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“It's impossible to comprehend the heartbreak of this horrific news from Thailand,” wrote Albanese. “All Australians send their love and condolences.”

The US Embassy in Bangkok also released a statement on Thursday:

“The embassy is saddened by the tragic event in Nong Bua Lamphu province. We stand with the people of Thailand and offer our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.”

Police said at least 38 people including 24 children were killed after a gunman burst into the nursery at Uthai Sawan Tambon Administration Organisation office just after midday on Thursday. Another 10 persons were injured, eight of whom are in critical condition.

The shooter, identified as former policeman Panya Khamrab, later committed suicide at his house on Thursday after killing his wife, son and two other relatives.