Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn. File photo
Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn arrived Friday at a hospital treating those wounded in a gun and knife rampage at a nursery by a sacked policeman that left 36 people dead.
An AFP journalist saw the the king arrive at the hospital in the northeastern town of Nong Bua Lamphu, where he is expected to meet survivors.
Meanwhile, grief-stricken families prepared to begin funeral rites on Friday for 36 people murdered by a sacked policeman who rampaged through a nursery armed with a gun and knife in one of Thailand's worst mass killings.
After a day of mourning at the scene of the bloodshed, coffins bearing the bodies of the victims — 24 of them children — were transported to temples to be handed over to relatives.
A picture of a child victim is displayed at Wat Rat Samakee temple in Uthai Sawan, Thailand, on Friday. Reuters
King Maha Vajiralongkorn will later visit survivors in hospital — a rare direct interaction with the public for the Thai monarch, who is officially regarded as a semi-divine figurehead.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha laid flowers at the nursery in rural northeastern Nong Bua Lam Phu province and handed out compensation cheques to grieving families.
At one temple, 10 white and gold coffins, some so small they looked like toy boxes, were loaded into fridges in the evening ahead of the customary three days of mourning before cremation.
A young father, his face a mask of tears, staggered away from other mourners after watching his son's coffin loaded away.
Volunteers carry a coffin containing the body of a victim in the Young Children’s Development Center attack. AP
Earlier at the small, low-slung nursery, a line of heartbroken parents placed white roses on the building's steps as the baking sun bore down.
The dead include pregnant teacher Supaporn Pramongmuk, whose husband posted a poignant tribute on Facebook.
"I would like to say thank you for all the support for me and my family. My wife has fulfilled her every duty as a teacher," Seksan Srirach wrote.
"Please be a teacher in heaven, and my child please take care of your mother in heaven."
Thailand began the third and final day of coronation ceremonies for King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who will meet foreign diplomats and greet his subjects from atop a balcony,
King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Rama X of Thailand, was crowned on Saturday in a dazzling show of pageantry, laced with Hindu and Buddhist ritual, vowing to reign “with righteousness” on behalf of the Thai people.
A Thai anti-junta activist who spent more than two years behind bars for insulting the country’s monarchy by sharing an unflattering BBC article about the king walked free Friday on a royal pardon.
An Indian expat with the ticket number 206975 has won Dhs30 million in Abu Dhabi Big Ticket’s one of the biggest ever raffle draw on Saturday.
"I commend the United Arab Emirates for the historic cooperation with Israel forged over the past two years through the Abraham Accords," said Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, in a press statement on Friday.
The celebrations were attended by the Centre's staff and a broad multicultural segment of the mosque's worshippers and visitors, which reflected the rich Emirati heritage and noble values, and highlighted the mosque's message that calls for cross-cultural dialogue worldwide.
The Abu Dhabi Court for Family and Civil and Administrative Cases rejected a lawsuit filed by an ex-husband who demanded to obligate his divorcee to pay him Dhs28,000, claiming that he had transferred the agreed alimony to her bank account.