The 1st Army Region has apologised publicly after a private in Kanchanaburi fired at several people on Friday in a fit of rage.
The remarks, conveyed by the 1st Army Region’s public relations team, expressed both apologies and regret over the incident, saying the army will fully cooperate with the Royal Thai Police in its investigation.
On Friday Pvt Amornthep Limcharoen, attached to the 2nd Infantry Battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment, opened fire at people in a house in Kanchanaburi, injuring several of them.
Police said the incident followed an argument between the private and his girlfriend. Her family is asking the police to charge Pvt Limcharoen with unlawful detention.
Pvt Limcharoen fled after the incident, and the 1st Army Region is trying to locate him so he can be brought to justice, its PR team said.
According to the 1st Army Region, Pvt Limcharoen took a leave of absence on 22nd December but failed to return to the barracks when his leave expired on 2nd January.
The 2nd Infantry Battalion, which is overseen by the 1st Army Region, issued a warning to Pvt Limcharoen, before it classified him as having deserted the force on 6th February.
In its written remarks, the 1st Army Region said it has warned Pvt Limcharoen on several occasions about his temper and notified his family about it.
If and when the private is caught, the force said it will proceed with disciplinary action against him, the statement said.
Meanwhile, more than 1,400 men have applied for voluntary enlistment in the first six days of online registrations, according to the army.
Recruitment is open to men between 18–20 and 22–29, as by law, those who are 21 must take place in the annual draft unless they are eligible for exemptions or have completed the territorial defence course and training.
The online enlistment runs from 1st-28th February.
Army spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said 1,466 men nationwide applied online between 1st-6th February, with some applicants with no access to the internet using computers at their local military units to apply.
Most applicants, or 405 people, applied to enlist with units under the 2nd Army Region, she said.
Col Ngathong said successful applicants will be called to attend an onsite screening at their respective army circles on 5th March.
This week, the army’s recruitment officers will be campaigning to promote voluntary enlistment in all districts nationwide.