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Odishatv Bureau

Bangkok: The gunman who killed 25 people in a shooting spree at a shopping mall in Thailand's Nakhon Ratchasima was killed by the police on Sunday, a senior police official said.

The news was confirmed by National Police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, The Nation newspaper reported.

The gunman, Jakraphanth Thomma, a junior officer, was hiding in the Terminal 21 shopping mall in the city also known as Korat following the shooting spree on Saturday evening, Chaijinda added.

Police and military forces have sealed off the Terminal 21 mall.

Gunshots were heard during night operations by security forces. Many people were still believed to have been hiding in the department store or were held hostage by the suspect, The Nation report said.

Meanwhile, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul posted on his Facebook page on Sunday morning, congratulating the security forces for killing the suspect.

"Thank you police and army for ending the situation. Shooter shot dead," the BBC quoted the Facebook post as saying.

The shooting spree began at around 3.30 p.m. on Saturday at the Suatham Phithak military camp, where Thomma first killed his commanding officer, named by the Bangkok Post as Col Anantharot Krasae.

The Post said a 63-year-old woman, Col Anantharot's mother-in-law, and another soldier was also killed there.

The suspect seized arms and ammunition from the camp before taking a Humvee-type vehicle.

He then opened fire at a number of sites before arriving at the Terminal 21 mall at about 6 p.m., reports the BBC.

Local media footage appeared to show the suspect getting out of his vehicle and firing shots as people fled.

CCTV footage showed him inside the shopping centre with a raised rifle.

Thomma posted on his social media accounts during the attack, with one post on Facebook asking whether he should surrender.

He had earlier posted an image of a pistol with three sets of bullets, along with the words "it is time to get excited" and "nobody can avoid death".

Facebook has now taken the page down.

(IANS)

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