BANGKOK – A head monk was shot and killed at a temple before dawn on Monday in full view of other monks and devotees attending morning prayer.
The monks murder occurred around 5am at Wat Suwanpakdi in tambon Thakum, Muang district of Trat province in eastern Thailand.
When police arrived the found Phra Khru Kittisarakosol lying dead on the monk dais in the pavilion where prayers.
The monk, 60, had three gunshot wounds, one in the stomach and two in the head. About 60 horrified devotees were milling around in tears over the loss of the head monk.
Police told Thai media a lone man entered the pavilion and walked toward the head monk as if about to make an offering.
Instead, he pulled out a gun and fired at the monk in full view of people attending morning prayer.
The gunman then just turned around and left after killing the head monk.
Police later arrested Pinit Siriroop, 61, at his home in Muang district around 6am.
He was taken Muang police station for interrogation.
Two Monks Killed in Southern Thailand
In January of this year two monks were gunned down and others injured in Narathiwat, Thailand’s southern-most province.
One of the slain monks was Prakru Prachote Rattananurak or Sawang, the abbot of the temple and chief monk of the Sungai Padi district.
Witnesses say the abbot was shot at close range and died instantly. Attackers are then reported to have opened the monk cubicles one by one firing randomly.
Witnesses says a group of about 10 men in camouflage uniforms, armed with military weapons, opened fire on monks who were in the temple