NARATHIWAT : Three people were killed and 36 injured, many seriously, in a bomb blast that hit a local train in Rueso district of Narathiwat yesterday.
State Railway of Thailand governor PrapatChongsanguan inspects a wrecked train carriage after a bombattack Sunday. Thebomb was planted on railway tracks about 1kmfrom Salo Bukit Yure station in Narathiwat’s Rueso district. The blast killed three people and wounded 36 others. WAEDAOHARAI
The bomb went off hours before US President Barack Obama's arrival in Thailand. Some observers believe it was intended to embarrass Thailand in the eyes of the international community.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Worapong Chiewpreecha insisted the bombing was not related to Mr Obama's visit. Attacks like this occur almost every day, he said.
Pol Lt Col Jakrit Wongprommet, deputy chief of Rueso police station, said the incident occurred about 7.30am. A bomb planted on the railway track near the Salo Bukit Yure station detonated while the Yala-Sungai Kolok train was pulling away from the station.
Authorities say the militants hid nearby and opened fire on the train after the explosion. The bomb was planted in a gas cylinder and weighed about 100kg, officials said.
The explosion badly damaged the train's passenger cars. The people killed were identified as defence volunteer Panakorn Chunkaew, who died at the scene, as well as Suksawat Ruangnam, a passenger, and Prasarn Chatree, another defence volunteer, who were both pronounced dead at Rueso Hospital.
The wounded included one railway police officer and two train ticket inspectors. The rest of the injured were passengers. Several lost their legs or arms as shrapnel ripped through the railcar.
The wounded were taken to Rueso Hospital for treatment.
The explosion left a hole about 3m wide and 2m deep. Two passenger cars were derailed. Train services along the route were suspended.
State Railway of Thailand [SRT] governor Prapat Chongsanguan and Transport Minister Pol Gen Wichien Potephosree travelled to the explosion site in Narathiwat.
Preecha Promthungkor, an SRT engineer who led the two executives to inspect the scene of the attack, said it would take at least three days to repair the 300-metre section of track damaged in the bombing.
Train services from Salo Bukit Yure station to Sungai Kolok station will resume on Wednesday, Mr Preecha said.
Meanwhile, a woman was killed and her son seriously wounded by gunmen in Narathiwat's Rangae district Sunday morning.
The incident occurred about 8am on a road near Ban Luk Khao in tambon Tanyong Limo. Police said Halimo Royi, 53, and her son Abdulloh, 25, were returning home from work at a rubber plantation at Ban Lubo Diyae on a motorcycle. Two men followed them on another motorcycle and the pillion rider opened fire at them with an AK-47 assault rifle.
The mother was killed instantly, and her son was seriously wounded.
Police recovered more than 10 spent bullet casings at the scene.
Photos by Waedao Harai
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