Suspected insurgents in southern Thailand exploded a bomb as a train approached a railway station in Narathiwat early Saturday afternoon. Gunshots were also fired at one carriage, but nobody was hurt, only the train was damaged.
The attack occurred at 12.25pm when train No 986 on the Sungai Kolok-Bangkok route was about one kilometer away from the Tan Yong Mat station in Rangae district, of Narathiwat in southern Thailand.
The State Railway of Thailand was alerted around 12.40pm that an unknown number of assailants had planted a homemade bomb on the tracks between the Ban Pha Pai and Tan Yong Mat stations.
Shortly after the bomb went off, gunshots were fired at the fifth carriage of the train, where train staff were sitting. Luckily, all of them escaped uninjured. The state railway is now awaiting further information from investigators.
The repurposed passenger train had departed Sungai Kolok, Thailand on Saturday to transport fruit, agricultural products and parcels from the deep South to Bangkok.
The special cargo service, intended to help farmers and others during the harvest season, began on Thursday and is scheduled to operate until Oct 1.
The state railway said the service would continue despite the attack. However the operations of trains 985 and 986 would be shifted to the Bangkok-Yala-Bangkok route from Bangkok-Sungai Kolok-Bangkok.
Train workers union condemned attack
The State Railway Workers’ Union condemned the train attack saying it not only damaged the train but would inflict more economic wounds on local residents and farmers in Thailand’s deep south.
In a statement issued by its Hat Yai branch, the State Railway Workers’ Union called on security agencies to increase safety measures on trains and rail routes to improve confidence among people and train staff.
Meanwhile, a local leader has been seriously injured in a bomb attack near a mosque in Muang district of Yala in southern Thailand on Saturday.
The bomb went off at 10.42am when a pickup truck arrived at the entrance of the mosque in tambon Sateng, police said. The driver, identified later as Maeyae Saeloh, 59, kamnan of tambon Samakki in Ruesord district of Narathiwat, was seriously injured.
He was rushed to Yala Hospital.