NARATHIWAT : At least 10 heavily armed men yesterday opened fire on a passenger train in Cho Airong district, killing one defence volunteer and seriously wounding another, police said.
The attackers launched the attack on the No.447 Surat Thai-Sungai Kolok train in the late afternoon in Ban Buera-ngage as it passed between Bukit station and Ai-satir station, about 500 metres from Bukit station.
The engine car and six carriages were riddled with bullets.
The defence volunteers had been deployed as train guards. Volunteer Tho Sutthipong was shot in the back of the head and died on his way to hospital. Volunteer Atsuwan Jehlateh suffered a serious gunshot wound to his right leg and was sent to Sungai Kolok Hospital.
No passengers were injured.
A team of police, soldiers and local authorities inspected the shooting site and found a large number of spent bullets fired from M-16 and AK assault rifles.
Almost simultaneously, another group of militants ambushed an operations base of train security officials about 4km away from the attack on the train.
The gunfire lasted about five minutes and the attackers retreated. There were no reports of injuries. The attack on the operations base was believed to be intended to prevent authorities from sending help to the ambushed train.
Police investigators believe the train ambush was an act of revenge by Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK) members. One of the train security volunteers reportedly shot dead an RKK member in front of Cho Airong train station on Saturday.
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- Writer: Waedao Harai