Bomb explodes on train in deep South

Bomb explodes on train in deep South

Gunshots fired after blast, no one injured

A bomb exploded as a train carrying agricultural products approached a railway station in Narathiwat early yesterday afternoon. Gunshots were fired at one carriage, but nobody was hurt.

The attack occurred at 12.25pm when train No 986 on the Sungai Kolok-Bangkok route was about one kilometre away from Tanyongmas station in Rangae district. The incident took place between Pa Phai and Tanyongmas stations.

The repurposed passenger train had departed Sungai Kolok yesterday to transport fruit, agricultural products and parcels from the deep South to Bangkok as part of measures to alleviate the hardship of people affected by travel restrictions and Covid-19 control measures.

Shortly after the bomb went off near Tanyongmas station, gunshots were fired at the fifth carriage, where State Railway of Thailand (SRT) staff were sitting. All escaped unhurt.

Despite the attack, suspected to be the work of insurgents, the special cargo train service will continue to run until Oct 1, according to Ekkarat Sri-arayayanpong, director of the SRT's public relations division.

The service, intended to help farmers and others during the harvest season, began on Thursday.

SRT governor Nirut Maneephan said the damaged carriage was left at Tanyongmas station before the train resumed its journey. The Tanyongmas station master filed a complaint with police over the attack.

Meanwhile, a local leader was seriously injured in a bomb attack near a mosque in Muang district of Yala yesterday.

The bomb went off about 10.40am when a pickup truck arrived at the entrance of the mosque in tambon Sateng, said police.

The driver, Maeyae Saeloh, 59, kamnan of tambon Samakki in Ruesord district of Narathiwat, was seriously injured.

According to police, a bomb was planted in the Yala-registered pickup truck belonging Mr Maeyae. The explosion occurred minutes after the kamnan left the house of his second wife.

As Mr Maeyae was leaving the house, he truck failed to start and he noticed a wire hanging from the underside of his vehicle although he did not think much of it. He tried the ignition again and this time the truck started.

After driving the truck for less than a kilometre, the vehicle sputtered. He stopped to look at it before continuing his journey home. As he set off, the bomb exploded and the truck caught fire.

Mr Maeyae suffered serious wounds but managed to crawl out of the mangled wreck of his vehicle and call for help. He was rushed to Yala Hospital.

An investigation is under way to establish the motive. Police suspected it might be motivated by a love affair or the work of insurgents.

Mr Maeyae, according to a local source, is an influential figure in the area. He is planning to run for president of a tambon administrative organisation.

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